University pair in World Cup opener

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Sydney University Football Club has two representatives in the Australian side to contest the opening match of the 2015 World Rugby Under 20 Championship being held in Italy.

Prop Matt Sandell has been named in the run-on side and hooker Folau Fainga’a has been named on the bench to face Samoa at Parma tomorrow morning (2.30am AEST).

Sandell, an Australian Schoolboy representative last year, and Fainga’a were named in the 28-man Australian squad at the end of the recent Oceania Junior Rugby Championship contested at Bond University on the Gold Coast.

The Australians reached the final of the Oceania tournament only to lose 46-29 to New Zealand.

Australian U20s Coach Adrian Thompson has called on big-game experience for his side’s opening fixture with Lolo Fakaosilea, Campbell Magnay, Adam Korcyzk, Andrew Kellaway and Jonah Placid all named in the starting XV to face Samoa.

The World Championship includes the top 12 rugby playing nations with Australia competing in Pool B alongside 2014 runners up South Africa, tournament hosts Italy and Samoa.

The Australians are striving to improve on their fifth-placed finish at 2014 Championship.

“Our Super Rugby players will give the side invaluable experience with Lolo Fakaosilea and Adam Korcyzk to give us an edge in the forwards,” coach Thompson said.

“We have already seen what Samoa can do at the Oceania Rugby Junior Championship last month and we aware of the threat they pose across the park.

“We have had a really strong preparation for the tournament and we are looking forward to kicking off our campaign.”