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Junior Wallabies name side to face Argentina

Wed, 29/06/2022, 5:57 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Lukas Ripley headlines the Junior Wallabies' side to face Argentina. Photo: Getty Images
Lukas Ripley headlines the Junior Wallabies' side to face Argentina. Photo: Getty Images

The Junior Wallabies have confirmed their side for their opening game of the U20 Oceania Championship against Argentina.

Head coach Nathan Grey has named back-rower Ned Slack-Smith as captain, looking to defend their title from 2019.

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Slack-Smith has been named at number eight with Rebels debutant Daniel Maiava and Nick Baker selected as the two flankers.

NSW Waratahs products Adrian Brown and Pat Maka form a formidable front-row alongside Remsy Lemisio.

Lopeti Faifua and Luke Callan slot into the second row as the Junior Wallabies face Argentina for the first time in Oceania U20 Championship history.

Reds scrumhalf Kalani Thomas is one of several returning players from the cancelled 2021 campaign and links up with vice-captain Mason Gordon in the halves.

There is vast Super Rugby experience in the backline, with Rebels breakout star Lukas Ripley named in the centres to partner the exciting Taj Annan.

Mac Grealy has been named at fullback, joined by Reds teammate Floyd Aubrey and Sevens rookie Darcy Lancaster.

Queensland hooker Max Craig will be looking to make some impact from the bench, joined as front-row finishers by Paddy Tagg and Siosifa Amone.

Western Force backrower Connor Seve and Mitch Watts have been added to provide some energy as the Junior Wallabies prepare for three games in nine days.

Sevens regular Ben Dowling will be looking to break the game open late in the contest, rounding out the finishers alongside Queensland scrumhalf Louis Werchon and Jack Bowen.

Junior Wallabies coach Nathan Grey said: “This is an exciting time for the squad as they prepare to open their campaign against a tough Argentinian outfit.

“They come into this tournament raring to go after two earlier camps in 2022 and will be looking to start on a strong note.

“This tournament provides a perfect chance for players to impress and test themselves against some of the best in the world.”

"Congratulations to all the players selected to represent their country as we celebrate the commencement of the U20 international programme," RA CEO Andy Marinos said in a statement.

"This represents the start of a journey for these young men in our Golden decade with many of the names we read today having the opportunity to be read out when we announce our 2027 RWC squad.

"I am excited that our next generation now have the opportunity to compete internationally again and having had the chance to see them in training over the past weeks I look forward to these next games.

"Nathan (Grey) and his management team have worked tirelessly to ensure we are in the best possible shape to take full advantage of the international competition."

Every match of the Junior Wallabies' Oceania U20 Championship campaign will be ad-free, live and on-demand on Stan Sport.

Junior Wallabies team to face Argentina

1. Adrian Brown - NSW Waratahs, Eastwood

2. Tom Maka - NSW Waratahs, Gordon

3. Remsy Lemisio - Brumbies, Tuggeranong Vikings

4. Lopeti Faifua - Queensland Reds, Wests

5. Luke Callan - Western Force, Wanneroo

6. Daniel Maiava - Melbourne Rebels, Wyndham Rhinos

7. Nick Baker - Queensland Reds, GPS

8. Ned Slack-Smith (C) - Western Force, Warringah

9. Kalani Thomas - Queensland Reds, University of Queensland

10. Mason Gordon (VC) - Melbourne Rebels, Wests

11. Floyd Aubrey - Queensland Reds, GPS

12. Taj Annan - Queensland Reds, Easts

13. Lukas Ripley - Melbourne Rebels, University of Queensland

14. Darby Lancaster - NSW Waratahs, Eastern Suburbs

15. Mac Grealy - Queensland Reds, University of Queensland


16. Max Craig - Queensland Reds, Easts

17. Paddy Tagg - NSW Waratahs, Sydney University

18. Siosifa Amone - Western Force, Associates

19. Mitch Watts - NSW Waratahs, Randwick

20. Connor Seve - Western Force, Wests Scarborough

21. Louis Werchon - Queensland Reds, Brothers

22. Jack Bowen - NSW Waratahs, Eastern Suburbs

23. Ben Dowling - NSW Waratahs, Randwick

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