Beale, Horne, Fitzpatrick to star at Under 20 World Cup


HSBC Waratahs Kurtley Beale, Rob Horne and Damien Fitzpatrick have been named alongside another six players with Super 14 experience in the Auustralian Under 20 team to contest the 2009 IRB Junior World Cup in Japan next month.

The squad also features 2008 Wallaby James O'Connor, Ben Whittaker and Dane Haylett-Petty from the Western Force, Rod Davies and Rob Simmons from Queensland, and Brumbies backs Afusipa Taumoepeau and Matt Toomua.

Northern Suburbs wing Corey Brown, Sydney University hooker Nathan Charles, HSBC Junior Waratahs and Southern Districts lock Kane Douglas, Northern Suburbs flanker Sam Latunipulu and Sydney University lock David McDuling have all been selected after impressing in the opening rounds of the 2009 Tooheys New Shute Shield.

The Under-20 tournament, which resulted from the merging of the previous annual Under-19 and Under-21 tournaments run by the IRB, debuted last year in Wales, where New Zealand emerged as its inaugural champions.


New Zealand beat England 38-3 in the final. Australia finished fifth after beating France 42-21, having earlier lost 13-18 to England in the decisive game of Pool C.


Five members of the Australian side from last year return - Horne, Haylett-Petty, Simmons, Queensland prop Albert Anae and Queensland and Australia Sevens halfback Richard Kingi.


While last year's event has no direct influence on what may unfold in Japan, coach David Nucifora acknowledges the need to boost Australia's standing in the Under-20 grade.


"Certainly last year's finishing position was a little disappointing," Australia's High Performance Manager says.


"While that team didn't have a lot of luck during its loss to England, we'll be aiming to push our way further up the tournament rankings."


Today's squad has been selected after an extensive preparation which has included a number of camps where Nucifora and his high performance staff have worked with a wide group of eligible players.


"We are happy with where we've got to, in terms of the group we've been able to assemble," Nucifora, who will be assisted by Anthony Eddy, says.


"A number of the players have already come through - either at state level in Super 14, or through the Australian Sevens programme. That has given us a good base to build from."


Australia has been pooled alongside Canada, Tonga and Wales at the 16-team event, and will open the tournament against Canada at Fukuoka on 5 June.


The 26-man squad assembles at the AIS in Canberra on 21 May, and will later relocate to Sydney where it will play a warm up match against fellow competition entrant Uruguay at Sydney University on 29 May, prior to departing for Japan on 1 June.


The tournament final will be played in Tokyo on Sunday 21 June.

for the 2009 IRB Junior World Cup
BACKS: Kurtley Beale (NSW), Corey Brown (NSW), Rod Davies (QLD), Dane Haylett-Petty (WA), Rob Horne (NSW), Richard Kingi (QLD), James O'Connor (WA), Mark Swanepoel (WA), Afusipa Taumoepeau (ACT), Ben Tapuai (QLD), Matt Toomua (ACT), Nicholas White (ACT).
FORWARDS: Albert Anae (QLD), Nathan Charles (ACT), Kane Douglas (NSW), Damien Fitzpatrick (NSW), Talalelei Gray (ACT), Kesomi Lolotonga (ACT), Sam Latunipulu (NSW), David McDuling (NSW), Tom Murday (QLD), Jake Shatz (QLD), Andrew Shaw (QLD), Rob Simmons (QLD), James Slipper (QLD), Ben Whita







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