Whiz-kids to play with U-20s Wallabies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Whiz-kids to play with U-20s Wallabies

By Jim Morton 19/05/2008 06:27:56 PM Comments (0)

Whiz-kid playmakers Kurtley Beale and Quade Cooper will have to bide their time in the Junior Wallabies before getting senior international exposure this season.

NSW five-eighth Beale and Queensland flyhalf Cooper will be told to play for the Australian Under 20s at the world junior championships next month in Wales rather than the Wallabies or Australia A.

Incoming Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is also expected to keep future star flanker David Pocock in the 26-man U20s squad rather than have him on the Test fringes.

Deans will announce his first 30-man Wallabies squad on June 2 when the Australian Rugby Union will also name a 26-man Australia A squad.

New Australia A coach Phil Mooney said the U20s tournament would take preference over A-team duties in the Pacific Nations Cup which kicks off on June 8 in Japan.

The Australian U20s, who begin their preparations on Tuesday in Canberra under coach Brian Melrose, will play England, Canada and Fiji in pool C in Newport when the tournament starts early next month.

It's understood only U20s who are seen as genuine contenders for the Wallabies team for the first Test of the season against Ireland in Melbourne on June 14 will be released.

World Cup revelation Berrick Barnes, who may be picked to start at inside centre for the Wallabies, is viewed as the main five-eighth back-up to likely No.10 Matt Giteau.

Selectors see the experience gained against the world's best young players as far more beneficial than training with the Wallabies squad or playing in the six-team Pacific Nations Cup.

Beale and Cooper, who both excelled together with the Australian Schoolboys in 2006, are currently seen as A-team players for the last two PNC matches after the junior tournament.

"Potentially they have one or two games they could be available for," Mooney said.

Beale won't join the U20s squad until after the end of the Waratahs Super 14 campaign, which goes on the line in Saturday night's semi-final against the Sharks in Sydney.

As well Beale, Cooper and Pocock, NSW centre Rob Horne, Reds halfback Will Genia and Force lock Sam Wykes are Super 14 players in the U20s squad.

Several of Australia's likely A-team candidates are this week leaving for Europe to play with the Barbarians against Belgium, Ireland and England.

The group includes Morgan Turinui, Tyrone Smith and Mitchell Chapman while departing Reds David Croft and Clinton Schifcofske are also playing.

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