Australia U20 begin preparations for JWC 2012
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Australia’s preparations for the IRB Junior World Championship 2012 kick-start this week with 40 players attending the first of two four-day Under 20 selection camps at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
Players from across the country will be working under the watchful eyes of Australian Under 20 coaches Anthony Eddy and David Nucifora as they seek to win a place in the 28-man squad for the Junior World Championship in South Africa from 4-22 June.
Eddy and Nucifora will be joined by National Academy coaches Andrew Blades, Paul Carozza, Patricio Noriega and Nick Scrivener to prepare for a Championship which will see Australia face France, Argentina and Scotland in Pool C.
“The camp provides the players the opportunity to demonstrate their strengths and work for their selection,” explained Eddy. “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.”
Australia finished third in last year’s Junior World Championship in Italy after losing to four-time champions New Zealand in the semi-finals, and three members of that squad will attend the opening camp in Apolosi Latunipulu, Matthew Lucas and Hugh Roach.
Proven pathway to the Wallabies
Liam Gill – the youngest player ever to play on the Junior World Championship stage after turning 18 early in the 2010 tournament – and Chris Feauai-Sautia are not available to attend the camp due to their commitments with the Queensland Reds, but could make the squad for South Africa.
Five others – Cameron Clark, Allan Faalavaau, Con Foley, Lewis Holland and Sean McMahon – are members of the Australian Sevens but will attend the camp at the AIS this week. Some of the other 40 players have also been involved in the recently concluded Australia series of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup 2012, playing for Super Rugby development teams against the A sides of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
“The IRB Junior World Championship provides a tremendous opportunity for players to get contracts,” added Eddy. “The tournament is something that’s followed very closely by Australian 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 players who ultimately make the squad for South Africa will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of David Pocock, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Kurtley Beale, Ben Daley, Rob Horne, James Slipper, Ben McCalman, Rob Simmons, Rod Davies and Ben Tapuai, who all played on the JWC stage before graduating to the Wallabies.
The second Australian Under 20 camp will take place in April at the Australian Institute of Sport, with the chosen 28 assembling in Narrabeen on 18 May to finalise preparations for the 12-team tournament in Cape Town and Stellenbosch.
Players selected for first 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).