Australian Under 20s depart for France

by Staff Writer

The Australian Under 20s depart for France on Tuesday 28 May for the IRB Junior World Championship, which runs 5-23 June.

The squad features eight members of last year’s Australian Under-20 campaign, 16 players from the successful 2012 Australian Schoolboys tour and one capped Super Rugby player in captain Curtis Browning of the Queensland Reds.

In all, 19 of the 28-strong squad are current members of Australian Rugby Union’s National Academy program.

The Under 20s will face Fiji, Ireland and New Zealand in pool play at the tournament and coach Adrian Thompson said it was a blessing in disguise to get the tough match ups early in the contest.

“We’ve got a tough pool,” Thompson said.

“Ireland finished fifth and New Zealand have only ever lost two games at this tournament and Fiji are obviously another danger side.

“It’s going to be a tough start but you’ve got to play them sooner or later so we’ll get it done early.”

Five changes have been made to the original squad, with prop Pettowa Paraka being brought in for the injured Siotame Kavapalu, scrumhalf Angus Pulver coming in for the injured Jock Merriman, Ofiu Manukeu-Archibald for Matt Philip and Reece Hodge for Samu Kerevi.

Chris Feauai-Sautia has also been replaced, with Lalakai Foketi coming in, to allow the Super Rugby player to focus on his commitments with the Queensland Reds.

Paraka was a member of the 2012 Australian Under 20s, while Foketi, Hodge and Pulver were a part of last year’s Australian Schoolboys tour which included an historic 16-14 win over New Zealand Schools in Auckland. Manukeu-Archibald featured for New South Wales Schoolboys in last year’s Australian Schools Rugby Championship.

Preparation for the Junior World Championship has included three selection camps, two training camps and a trial match against the Papua New Guinea national side at Bond University, which the Australian Under 20s won 72-12.

The Australian Under 20s face Ireland first in pool play on Wednesday 5 June, followed by New Zealand on Sunday 9 June and Fiji on Thursday 13 June.

Australia’s matches at the IRB Junior World Championship will be broadcast live on Fox Sports, along with the semi-finals and finals.

Watch the squad's final training session in Australia ahead of World Championship on ARUTV here.

Click here to view the Australian Under 20s Media Guide.

Australian Under-20 IRB Junior World Championship squad

Click to view Australian Under-20 bios online.

Name

Position

State

Club

Allan Alaalatoa* **

Prop

NSW

Southern Districts

Mark Baldwin **

Flanker

NSW

Randwick

Curtis Browning (C) *

Flanker

QLD

University of Queensland

Luke Burton

Flyhalf/Centre

WA

University RC WA

Jack Dempsey * **

Flanker

NSW

Gordon

Lalakai Foketi **

Centre

NSW

Manly

Reece Hodge **

Fullback

NSW

Manly

Oliver Hoskins * **

Prop

WA

Cottesloe

Phillip Kite * **

Prop

QLD

GPS Old Boys

Brad Lacey

Wing

WA

Wests Scarborough

Silatolu Latu

Prop

NSW

Sydney University

Ofiu Manukeu-Archibald

Lock

NSW

West Harbour

Jake McIntyre * **

Flyhalf

NSW

Sunnybank

Ben Meehan

Scrumhalf

QLD

Sunnybank

Maile Ngauamo * **

Hooker

QLD

Sunnybank

Alex Northam * **

Wing

NSW

Manly

Pettowa Paraka **

Prop

QLD

Easts

Harry Parker **

Wing

QLD

University of Queensland

Jonah Placid * **

Fullback

QLD

Easts

Angus Pulver

Scrumhalf

NSW

Sydney University

Andrew Ready **

Hooker

QLD

Easts

Ulupano Seuteni *

Fullback

QLD

Easts

Patrick Sio **

Number 8

NSW

Northern Suburbs

Thomas Staniforth * **

Lock

ACT

Royals

Henry Taefu **

Centre

QLD

Sunnybank

Senio Toleafoa

Lock

NSW

West Harbour

Michael Wells * **

Flanker

NSW

Northern Suburbs

Waldo Wessels * **

Scrumhalf

NSW

Southern Districts

*Denotes members who progressed through ARU National Gold Squad

** Denotes current members of ARU National Academy

Australian Under-20 staff

Name

Position

Adrian Thompson

Head coach

Sean Hedger

Assistant coach

John McKee

Assistant coach

Adam Crane

Manager

Matthew Johnstone

Analyst

Campbell Hanson

Physiotherapist

Craig Twentyman

Strength and conditioning coach

Steve Freeman

Doctor

Sarah Rule

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