First of two Australian Under 20 selection camps held next week

by Staff Writer

Forty players from across the country will descend on the Australian Institute of Sport Monday for the first of two four-day Australian Under-20 selection camps, in the lead up to the all-important IRB Junior World Championship in June.

Next week’s camp will feature players from across five of the country’s states and territories working under the watchful eyes of Australian Under-20s coaches Anthony Eddy and David Nucifora.

They will be joined by National Academy coaches Andrew Blades, Paul Carozza, Patricio Noriega and Nick Scrivener, who will be on hand to provide additional support to the players looking to represent Australia at the IRB Junior World Championship in South Africa in June.

Under-20s Coach, Anthony Eddy, said he is looking forward to the camp, as he knows it will be a competitive environment, with players vying for one of only 28 spots available for the touring side.

“The camp provides the players the opportunity to demonstrate their strengths and work for their selection,” Eddy said.

“We’ll be running through a series of drills and game-type scenarios as part of the selection process.

“We’re expecting players to really step up, put in a good effort and force our hands in terms of selection.”

Eddy also pointed to the possibility of players being selected based on performances outside of the camp environment, so competition among potential candidates is rife.

“Outside of this camp, players that perform well at the club level will also be considered,” Eddy said.

“We could see someone who hasn’t been invited to the first camp perform well at club level and earn selection to the second camp to further prove themselves.”

At least two players with selection potential will be unavailable for the first camp, with St.George Queensland Reds contracted players Liam Gill and Chris Feauai-Sautia out due to contract commitments.

They will, however, be available for the IRB Junior World Championship along with five members of the current Qantas Men’s Sevens team, Cameron Clark, Allan Faalavaau, Con Foley, Lewis Holland and Sean McMahon. The five will be in attendance at next week’s camp at the Australian Institute of Sport, in the hope of joining the Australian Under-20s in South Africa.

This year’s side will look to improve on last year’s showing, when the Australian Under-20s left the IRB Junior World Championship in third place, following a 37-7 semi-final loss to New Zealand and a 30-17 win over France in the third-fourth playoff game.

The 2012 fixture will see the Australian Under-20s enter as the first seed in Pool C, taking on France, Argentina and Scotland.

Pool A will feature New Zealand, Fiji, Wales and Samoa and Pool B will contain England, South Africa, Ireland and Italy.

Eddy knows the importance of the IRB Junior World Championship for both Australian Rugby and the players themselves, as it helps develop maturity in the country’s up-and-coming playing ranks.

“The IRB Junior World Championship provides a tremendous opportunity for players to get contracts,” Eddy said.

“The tournament is something that’s followed very closely by Australian FxPro Super Rugby teams as they look to recruit new talent.

“It is also crucial for Australian development due to the high level of competition it provides. The competition is structured in a way that helps players prepare for elite Rugby and professionalism.”

The second Australian Under-20 camp will be held over four days in April at the Australian Institute of Sport. The 28 chosen to represent Australia will then assemble in Narrabeen on 18 May for final preparations before the IRB Junior World Championship in June.

Players selected for Australian Under 20s camp

Allan Alaalatoa

NSW

Mark Baldwin

NSW

Luke Beauchamp

QLD

Curtis Browning

QLD

Mitchell Carpenter

QLD

Cameron Clark

NSW

Sean Cox

QLD

Steven Cummins

NSW

Thomas Cusack

ACT

Timothy Donlan

NSW

Tim Duchesne

NSW

Stuart Dunbar

NSW

Allan Faalavaau

VIC

Zac Frank

QLD

Michael Freeman

NSW

Jed Gillespie

NSW

Terrence Hepetema

NSW

Malietoa Hingano

NSW

Lewis Holland

ACT

Jed Holloway

NSW

Oliver Hoskins

WA

Christopher Ingate

NSW

Boyd Killingworth

NSW

Silatolu Latu

NSW

Apolosi Latunipulu

NSW

Matthew Lucas

QLD

Leslie Makin

ACT

Sean McMahon

QLD

William Miller

NSW

Isaiah Mosese

VIC

Maile Ngauamo

QLD

Alexander Northam

NSW

Pettowa Paraka

QLD

Hugh Roach

ACT

Peter Schuster

NSW

Michael Stolberg

QLD

Keliti Vaingalo

NSW

William Weeks

NSW

Michael Wells

NSW

Matthew White

NSW

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