McMahon to lead Australian Under 20 challenge

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 6 May 2014
 McMahon to lead Australian Under 20 challenge
Sean McMahon in action for Australia Sevens on the Gold Coast back in October

Sean McMahon will captain Australia at the IRB Junior World Championship 2014 in New Zealand, one of a number of players with Super Rugby experience selected by coach Adrian Thompson.

It will be a second Junior World Championship for McMahon after playing in the 2012 tournament in South Africa and he has also worn the national jersey on the HSBC Sevens World Series after making his debut at just 17.

McMahon made his debut for the Melbourne Rebels earlier this year and Thompson is in doubt about his leadership qualities as Australia Under 20s prepare to face Argentina, defending champions England and Italy in Pool A at JWC 2014.

“Sean is an excellent rugby player and an inspiring leader,” Thompson said. “He encompasses the values of Australian Rugby and will lead our side on and off the field with great distinction. He has really developed his breakdown and defensive skills at the Rebels.”

The squad was finalised after a 13-day training camp at Bond University on the Gold Coast which included two matches against Samoa Under 20s. Australia ran out 36-5 and 60-5 winners in the two matches.

“We had a very strong squad this year that worked really hard to ensure the best outcome for themselves and for the team,” admitted Thompson, who will bring the squad together for a nine-day assembly camp in Sydney from 20 May.

“I am very happy with the squad we have selected and I am confident this side will be a real force in Auckland as we look to win the IRB Junior World Championship.” 

Australia have the honour of kicking off the Junior World Championship when they face Argentina at ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe on 2 June and will be looking to make a good start with only the winner guaranteed a place in the semi-finals.

Australia Under 20 squad

Allan Alaalatoa, Luke Burton, Sam Croke, Jack Dempsey, Lolo Fakaosilea, Lalakai Foketi, Ross Haylett-Petty, David Horwitz, Alifeleti Kaitu’u, Andrew Kellaway, Brad Lacey, Jake McIntyre, Sean McMahon (captain), Rory O’Connor, Cameron Orr, Jack Payne, Rowan Perry, Matthew Philip, Jonah Placid, Joseph Powell, Angus Pulver, Tom Robertson, Andrew Robinson, Harry Scoble, Tom Staniforth, Jim Stewart, Jonny Vaux, Tevita Vea.