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The Western Australian Under 16 squad will test themselves against some of the best under-age talent in the country as part of the National Under 16 Rugby Championship beginning in Sydney next week.
The four-day tournament, held at St Ignatius College, Riverview, is now in its 11th year and features 12 teams from across Australia. The WA side has been grouped in Pool A along with fellow Division 1 teams NSW Schools, Queensland White and NSW Country, while Sydney Juniors, Victoria, Brumbies and defending champions, Queensland Red, have been named in Pool B.
National Indigenous, South Australia, North Territory and Tasmania will contest Division 2.
The National Under 16 Rugby Championship has been a breeding ground for stars of the future, with current Emirates Western Force stars Pek Cowan (2002) and Ben McCalman (2004) previously taking part.
Western Australia will take a squad of 23 players, with Kalamunda the best represented with five players, while Joondalup and Wanneroo each have four, including Roo Dog Terrell Berryman, son of former All Black Norm Berryman.
Head Coach Mark Calverley says the side will be looking to improve on its fifth placing at last year’s National Championships.
“We’re aiming for a top four finish and we certainly have a squad capable of achieving that,” he said. “In saying that, our pool ensures that there isn’t an easy game and that starts against a strong Queensland White outfit on Day One.
“These championships are very important, not only because the first opportunity for these players to test themselves against other players of their age Australia-wide, but it’s the first step along the player pathway for senior rugby.
“They’ll learn a lot about themselves as rugby players throughout this tournament, including how to prepare and back up for four games in five days. It’s a great opportunity for these players and one that I’m sure they’ll make the most of.”
National Under 16 Rugby Championship
St Ignatius College, Riverview
Monday, 1 October 2012 – Friday, 5 October 2012
Western Australia squad: Terrell Berryman (Wanneroo), Joshua Billington (Kalamunda), Ruban Birch (Kalamunda), Jean-Wilis Brits (Joondalup), Hershelle Classen (Wests Subiaco), Tevin Ferris (Mandurah), Callum Fraser (Joondalup), Liam Husband (Joondalup), Thomas Ingram (Associates), Aden Kambouris (University), Jacob Kohinga (Kalamunda), Lorenzo Mario (Joondalup), Tom McCrone (Wests Subiaco), Isaiah Pedersen (Southern Lions), Blake Phillips (Wanneroo), Filo Roache (Kalamunda), Tristan Schneider (University), Thomas Sheminant (Nedlands), Joseph Simpkins (Kalamunda), Jean-Charl Smith (University), Eric Stewart (Wanneroo), Angus Taylor (Wanneroo), Ivan Wright (Southern Lions).
Head Coach: Mark Calverley
Assistant Coach: Gus Martyn
Manager: Craig Fairhall
Physiotherapist: Stacey De Rooy
Day 1 –Monday, 1 October
2.45pm: Queensland White v Western Australia
Day 2 –Tuesday, 2 October
2.45pm: NSW Schools v Western Australia
Day 3 –Thursday, 4 October
10.45am: Western Australia v NSW Country
Day 4 –Friday, 5 October
9am: Pool A (4th) v Pool B (4th)
10.00am: Pool A (2nd) v Pool B (2nd)
11.20am: Pool A (3rd) v Pool B (3rd)
11.40am: Pool A (1st) v Pool B (1st)