Super Rugby and Sevens stars headline under 20s AIS camp

by Staff Writer

The second of two Australian Under-20 selection camps will be held at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra next week as coaches Anthony Eddy and David Nucifora look to secure their squad for the IRB Junior World Championship.

Around 40 players from across five Australian states and territories will travel to Canberra for the four-day camp, which runs 16 to 19 April.

For many of the players, this is will be their second Australian Under-20 selection camp, while some in attendance have only just been “unearthed” by Eddy and Nucifora and given the opportunity to push their case for inclusion in the Australian squad.

Eddy and Nucifora will be joined by National Academy coaches Andrew Blades, Paul Carozza, Patricio Noriega and Nick Scrivener, as they look to identify the best possible squad for the under-20 tournament being held in South Africa in June.

Having already staged one competitive selection camp, under-20s Coach, Anthony Eddy, is expecting things to heat up as they look to whittle the large group down to just 28 for the Junior World Championship.

“We saw a lot of competition amongst players in the first selection camp in March, as players worked hard to show why they should represent the Australian Under-20s,” Eddy said.

“These camps are extremely beneficial in identifying the best candidates for the Junior World Championships, but they are not the only basis for selection.

“In the coming weeks we will also be looking at players’ performances in club Rugby to help finalise squad selections.”

The camp could also feature several FxPro Super Rugby contracted and EPS players, pending availability.

Eddy said he and his fellow coaches would face a welcome headache come selection time, with quality players from both the FxPro Super Rugby and Qantas Men’s Sevens ranks eligible for the tournament.

“With players like St.George Queensland Reds flanker Liam Gill and recent Qantas Men’s Sevens revelations Allan Faalavaau and Matt Lucas available for selection, there will obviously be a lot of competition for spots,” Eddy said.

“It’s a selection problem we’re happy to have and the Junior World Championship provides further opportunities to up-and-coming Australian players to test themselves at elite levels of Rugby.

“The IRB Junior World Championship is a key development tool and stepping stone for young Australians looking to take the next step in their Rugby careers.”

In its brief history since changing from the Australian Under-19 and Under-21 programs, the Australian Under-20 side nurtured the talent of current Qantas Wallabies and FxPro Super Rugby players Quade Cooper, Will Genia, David Pocock, Rob Simmons and James Slipper.

Last year’s Australian Under-20 side finished third at the IRB Junior World Championship, after losing 37-7 to New Zealand in the semi-final. They went on to beat France 30-17 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.

The 28-strong 2012 Australian Under-20 side will be selected early May and will assemble in Narrabeen on 18 May to prepare for the IRB Junior World Championship in June.

Australian Under-20 selection camp squad

Allan Alaalatoa

NSW

Mark Baldwin

NSW

Luke Beauchamp

QLD

Michael Bermingham

QLD

Curtis Browning

QLD

Sean Cox

QLD

Lindsay Crook

QLD

Steven Cummins

NSW

Thomas Cusack

ACT

James Dargaville

NSW

Timothy Donlan

NSW

Allan Faalavaau

VIC

Con Foley

QLD

Nicholas Frisby*

QLD

Liam Gill*

QLD

Kyle Godwin*

WA

Ben Haris

NSW

Terrence Hepetema

NSW

Malietoa Hingano

NSW

Byron Hodge

NSW

Lewis Holland

ACT

Jed Holloway

NSW

Oliver Hoskins

WA

Boyd Killingworth

NSW

Silatolu Latu

NSW

Apolosi Latunipulu

NSW

Matthew Lucas

QLD

Leslie Makin

ACT

Sean McMahon

QLD

Benn Melrose

NSW

Guy Millar

NSW

William Miller

NSW

Isaiah Mosese

VIC

Maile Ngauamo

QLD

Alexander Northam

NSW

Pettowa Paraka

QLD

Hugh Roach

ACT

Christopher Sautia*

QLD

Peter Schuster

NSW

Ulupano Seuteni*

QLD

William Skelton

NSW

Michael Stolberg

QLD

Nuku’alofa Swerling

QLD

Henry Taefu

QLD

Alexander Toolis

QLD

Ben Toolis

QLD

Keliti Vaingalo

NSW

William Weeks

NSW

*Attendance at camp pending availability

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