The Australian U20’s will re-gather at the Sydney Academy of Sport, Narrabeen tomorrow (16 May) to begin final preparations for the World Rugby U20 Championship in Italy.
The tournament begins on June 2 with Australia to fight it out in Pool B alongside 2014 runners up South Africa, Samoa and host Nation Italy.
The young Aussies will use the Sydney Academy of Sport as a base for ten days, before departing for the Australian Institute of Sport’s European outpost in Italy as a precursor to the World Championship.
Having finished second in the Oceania Rugby Junior Championship to New Zealand in May, the Australian team has three matches under its belt, with a fourth to come against the Australian Barbarians on Tuesday 19 May at Chatswood Oval at 7.30pm.
As Head Coach Adrian Thompson explains, his current squad is better prepared for the challenge of an U20 World Championship than any of the previous Aussie teams:
“We have certainly made it an area of focus for our Pathway to Gold Program that more match time was a requirement for the U20’s to see improved results.
“A few years ago we would go into the tournament very under done, with barely any match time together and we have been found out in the past.
“This squad has already had a taste of international competition with the Oceania Rugby Junior Championship and we have already seen significant improvement in our combinations and overall squad depth.”
Last year Australia finished the tournament in fifth position with the aim in 2015 to finish within the top four.
“We have put a target on a top four finish”, said Thompson.
“With more game time and a good range of talent in this squad from across the country we certainly have the potential to really shake things up at the World Championships.”
Fans will be provided with free admission for the clash with the Australian Barbarians on Tuesday 19 May at Chatswood Oval in Sydney.