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By ARU Media Unit
A 28-man squad with a good mix of experience across multiple Rugby platforms has been named to represent Australia at the IRB Junior World Championship being held in South Africa in June.
The squad has been selected by coaches Anthony Eddy and David Nucifora following extensive work with a group of more than 60 players from across the country.
Over the past few months Eddy and Nucifora have held two selection camps and watched players closely in their respective club Rugby environments before settling on their 28-man squad.
Eddy and Nucifora have been able to draw on several players from FxPro Super Rugby and the Australian Sevens squad.
“The squad we’ve been able to select is a good mix and we are fortunate to be taking some players to South Africa that have experienced the elite environments of international and professional Rugby,” Nucifora said.
“Having this kind of experience in the group will go a long way in helping the entire squad prepare for the intensity of the Junior World Championship.”
Captaining the side will be StGeorge Queensland Reds openside flanker Liam Gill, one of just five FxPro Super Rugby players in the squad.
Gill will be joined by Reds teammate Chris Sautia and extended player squad members Nick Frisby and Ulupano Seuteni. Kyle Godwin of the Emirates Western Force extended player squad has also received the call up from the FxPro Super Rugby ranks.
Meanwhile, six members of the Australian Sevens squad have earned selection, five of whom have been busy of late representing the Qantas Men’s Sevens on the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Sean McMahon, Matt Lucas, Allan Faalavaau, Con Foley and Lewis Holland will enter camp having returned from the last two legs of the series in Glasgow and London and will be joined by Lindsay Crook, who represented the Qantas Men’s Sevens at Gold Coast Sevens - Fever Pitch and the Dubai Sevens earlier this season.
The squad also sees the return of four members of last year’s Australian Under-20 squad, with Gill, Apo Latunipulu, Lucas and Roach having all experienced the Championship before.
The remainder of the squad have been selected from Club Rugby and the Australian Rugby Union National Academy, which has players based in both New South Wales and Queensland, after being changed over from the original state-run academy system.
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 2012 Australian Under-20 side will assemble in Narrabeen on 18 May to prepare for the IRB Junior World Championship in June.
Fox Sports will broadcast all Australian Under-20 matches along with a selection of other matches from the IRB Junior World Championship. More details around broadcast times and channels will be made available closer to the tournament.
Australian Under 20 Junior World Championship Squad
*Player Profiles will be made available online in the coming weeks
Australian Under 20 Management Team