Six new faces in Nathan Grey's Australia U20 World Championship squad

Tue, Jun 11, 2024, 1:00 AM
Lachlan Grey
by Lachlan Grey

Australia U20 head coach Nathan Grey has named six fresh faces in his 30-man squad to contest the upcoming World Rugby U20 Championship in South Africa.

Australia face Georgia, Ireland and Italy in Pool B and Grey hasn't shied away from sweeping changes in a bid to improve last year's fifth-placed finish in Cape Town.

Watch Australia U20 in action during the U20 World Championships LIVE and exclusive on Stan Sport.

ACT's Kadin Pritchard (outside back) and Dan Nelson (scrumhalf) have been brought in alongside NSW trio Oniti Finau (hooker), Joe Dillon (flyhalf) and Archie Saunders (winger) with Queensland's Trevor King (prop) also returning in a new-look 30-man squad.

King was a member of last year's U20 World Championship tilt while Saunders' inclusion is set to turn heads with the young winger clocked around 10.3 seconds over 100 metres.

Reds playmaker Harry McLaughlin-Phillips adds firepower to the squad after being called into TRC U20 at the eleventh hour with lock Toby Macpherson and Brumbies stablemate Nelson named captain and vice captain respectively.

Forward duo Dom Thygesen and Eamon Doyle also hold onto their berths after entering last month's tournament as injury cover.

"We've selected an exciting group of players who have been delivering impressive performances for their club sides over the last few weeks," Grey said.

"The opportunity for these young men to now come together and represent Australia on the world stage is truly special.

"What awaits us in Cape Town is a formidable challenge, starting with our three pool opponents in Georgia, Italy and Ireland.

"However we're prepared and ready to embrace that challenge."

Grey's coaching team has been bolstered by the inclusion of former Wallaby backrowers Matt Cockbain and Ben Mowen, who will take over the forwards portfolio with Laurie Fisher joining Joe Schmidt's Wallabies.

Australia U20 World Championship Squad

ACT Brumbies 

Tevita Alatini - Gungahlin Eagles

Harvey Cordukes - Uni-Norths Owls

Toby Macpherson – Uni-Norths Owls

Jarrah McLeod – Canberra Royals

Dan Nelson – Canberra Royals

Angus Staniforth – Canberra Royals

Shane Wilcox - Tuggeranong Vikings

Jack Harley - Gungahlin Eagles

Lington Ieli - Tuggeranong Vikings

Kadin Pritchard - Gungahlin Eagles

Western Force

Boston Fakafanua - Sydney University

Ronan Leahy - Sydney University

Dane Sawers – Kalamunda Districts Rugby Union Club

Melbourne Rebels          

Ottavio Tuipulotu - Eastern Suburbs Rugby Club

Australia Sevens

Aden Ekanayake – Gordon Rugby Club

Queensland Reds                          

Nick Bloomfield – Easts Rugby Club

Frankie Goldsbrough - Easts Brisbane

Trevor King – Souths Rugby Club Brisbane

Harry McLaughlin-Phillips – Souths Rugby Club Brisbane

Dominic Thygesen - Souths Rugby Club Brisbane

William McCulloch - Norths Brisbane

NSW Waratahs

Jack Barrett – Randwick Rugby Club

Ben Di Staso – Eastern Suburbs

Bryn Edwards - Sydney University

Ollie McCrea – Eastern Suburbs Rugby Club

Archie Saunders – Warringah Rugby Club

Eamon Doyle - Sydney University

Hwi Sharples - Sydney University

Joe Dillon - Manly Marlins

Oniti Finau - Randwick Rugby Club