Sydney University Football Club (SUFC) will provide two players in the Sydney-based National Rugby Academy to take on Japan in the final game of the Australian leg of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup.
Second-rower Will Skelton has been selected in the starting XV for the match against Junior Japan at Canberra’s Griffith Oval at 4pm on Saturday, March, 23, while halfback Jock Merriman has been selected on an eight-man bench.
Australian National Academy Coach Sean Hedger said the tournament has been really beneficial for the players.
“All the players have put onto the field what they’ve learnt,” he said. “The competition has been a massive benefit for the guys and the game against Junior Japan will further test the players.
“Japan have had a couple of big results go against them so we’re just wanting our guys to stay focussed and concentrate on execution and completion of the way we want to play.”
Earlier this week, the involvement of Australian Super Rugby development sides in the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup came to a close for another year, with the Reds College XV remaining undefeated following a 59-14 win over Junior Japan at Ballymore on Monday.
The annual Pacific Rugby Cup features development teams from Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, and now Japan playing three fixtures each in Australia before travelling to New Zealand to face its Super Rugby development sides.
The Australian leg of the tournament features development teams from all five Australian Super Rugby sides as well as the Sydney and Brisbane National Academy teams.
The tournament, funded by the IRB, sits one level below the Pacific Nations Cup and is a key Rugby development pathway for participating nations, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and now Japan.
The 2013 Pacific Rugby Cup champions will be determined by points accumulated across the tournaments in Australia and New Zealand, and the final round played prior to the northern hemisphere Test window.