The Brumbies U19’s have confirmed their squad for the upcoming U19 National Championships (URC) , the 25-strong selection also seeing two co-captains named.
Head coach Ruaidhri Murphy confirmed that Gungahlin Eagles halfback, Joel Atkins and ADFA’s Jack Kearns will share the duties for the tournament.
Atkin’s was a standout performer in the Griffin Legal John I Dent Cup last season, making the jump to first grade straight out of school.
Kearns meanwhile will have to juggle his skipper responsibilities with his Army officer training at the Australian Defence Force Academy.
“Given the nature of the tournament, the amount of subs you can make and probably having probably to rotate our starters over the course of the week, we felt it was important to have two captains in the group, to ensure that leadership presence was there at all time, “ Murphy said.
“(Joel and Jack) have different leadership skills that definitely complement each other.
“Joel is a physical leader, he’ll lead by example whereas Jack, with his background in ADFA, he brings a presence and a maturity far beyond his years."
Preparations for the URC have been heating up in the past few weeks, with Murphy’s side taking home the Capital Cup having beaten Brumbies Provincial, and managing to draw with an ACT Griffins side that featured some of the best talent from the Griffin Legal John I Dent Cup.
The Brumbies will play a lead in game against the Melbourne Rebels before the weeklong event at the Australia Institute of Sport (AIS).
Having finished in third place last year, Murphy was confident that there was more than enough quality in the Brumbies group to go far at the Championships.
“We set a different standard for the group this year, “ Murphy explained.
“We're focusing on getting them physically ready for the tournament and challenging them from a skills point of view.
“Learning to win as a team is really important step in a young players development as well though, so while were focusing on developing the individual, we also want them to go into the Championships focusing on competing, and competing to win. “
2019 Brumbies U19 National Championship Squad
John Madjagga (Tuggeranong)
Apenisa Driti (Gungahlin)
Davea Teoteo (Queanbeyan)
Liki Chan-Tung (Wests)
Mika Eli (Queanbeyan)
TJ Sione (Tuggeranong)
Callum MacDonald (TBC)
Zane Marolt (Queanbeyan)
Zac Perrin (Gungahlin)
Tom Hooper (Tuggeranong)
Jack Kearns (ADFA)
Connor Smith (Royals)
Luke Reimer (TBC)
Rory Scott (Royals)
John Lalotoa (Queanbeyan)
Joel Atkins (Gungahlin)
Joe Caputo (Gungahlin)
Isaac Crowe (Gungahlin)
Liae Tuilagi (Wests)
Jack Gilmore (Queanbeyan)
Dennis Waight (Uni-Norths)
Tom Haddad (Gungahlin)
Corey Toole (Gungahlin)
Brendan Jimenez (Queanbeyan)
Haloti Fonua (Queanbeyan) / Byron Hollingworth (Uni-Norths)