Former Alstonville/Wollongbar rugby player, Ben Corindas.
Former Alstonville/Wollongbar rugby player, Ben Corindas. The Northern Star

Coridas in U20 squad for Junior World titles

FORMER Wollongbar-Alstonville rugby union player Ben Coridas has been selected in the Australian Under-20 squad for the inaugural Junior World Championships which will be held in Wales next month.

Coridas, who left Wollongbar to join the Waratahs Academy several years ago, has been named as one of five flankers in the 26-man squad.

A former Australian Schoolboy, Coridas plays for Eastwood in Sydney first grade.

Last season he played for the now defunct Western Sydney Rams in the Australian Rugby Championship under coach Brian Melrose.

Melrose is coach of the Australian Under-20s.

Former Yamba junior Kane Douglas has been selected in the shadow squad.

The second-rower is currently playing for Southern Districts in Sydney first grade after making one appearance for the Waratahs in a trial match earlier this year.

Ten of the squad have Super 14 experience including Waratahs regulars Kurtley Beale and Rob Horne, Queensland's Quade Cooper and Will Genia and the Force's Sam Wykes and David Pocock.

Underlying the depth of young talent coming through Australian rugby ranks, several players are still in contention for Wallabies and Australia A selection this season, which may impact on the final composition of the Under-20s squad.

Speedsters Alfi Mafi (NSW) and Blair Connor (QLD) have both been called up to their third national team in a year, with the duo having played in the Under-19s World Championship in Belfast in 2007 and also having competed on the Sevens circuit.

Fullback Dane Haylett-Petty's selection highlights a special week for the 18-year-old who made his Super 14 debut off the bench against the Chiefs in the Force's dramatic last-minute win in Perth on Saturday.

Western Force prodigy James O'Connor and the Brumbies' Afusipa Taumoepeau would have both been selected in the final squad but both are ineligible for the tournament as they are under 18 years of age.

The Under-20s tournament comes after the merging of the Under-19 and Under-21 tournaments by the IRB.

It is seen as a vital rung on the representative ladder towards full Wallabies selection.

The team has a one-day training session on May 12, before their final preparations begin at the AIS in Canberra on May 20.


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