Mack Mason ruled out of crucial U20s match

Australia U20s will be without playmaker Mack Mason for their fifth-place playoff against New Zealand on Sunday morning (AEST).

Mason fractured his hand in Australia's big win over Scotland in the fifth-place semi-finals, with his loss a major blow for the side.

The flyhalf has been pivotal for Australia in the tournament so far and was also the standout when Australia beat New Zealand in May, for the first time at U20s level.

He will be replaced by Brumbies' Nick Jooste, who has played mainly 12 at national level but can play both inside positions.

U20s coach Adrian Thompson said Mason's absence would be costly, but backed Jooste to step up.

"To lose Mack (Mason) heading into our final game is a loss, but we’re lucky to have a player such as Nick (Jooste) waiting in the wings to bring back into the starting line-up," he said.

“Nick is a sizeable player for an inside back and brings a long-range kicking game which will allows us to look to play field position."

Nic Jooste will replace Mack Mason in the fifth-place playoff. Photo: ARU MediaCampbell Magnay will step back into the outside centre spot, teaming up with Sione Tuipolotu, with Liam Jurd pushing onto the wing.

The Australian backrow also has one change, with Angus Scott-Young coming in at blindside, alongside Liam Wright and Maclean Jones.

U20s coach Adrian Thompson said a super-sized centres combination would be a boost against New Zealand.

“With both Magnay and Tuipulotu in the centres, it provides us with two big bodies to throw at the New Zealand mid-field and I’m sure these two will be looking to impose themselves on the game," he said.

“For Scott-Young, he played every minute of the opening three games of the tournament, so it was good to manage his work load last week, but he is raring to go ahead of Saturday.

“For the squad, they’re aware of the challenge before them but also know that they have the chance to finish the year with two wins over New Zealand, which would be a historic achievement for the team.”

Australia takes on New Zealand in the fifth-place playoff at 1:45am on Sunday morning (AEST), LIVE on FOXSPORTS 2 502.

Australia U20s team to face New Zealand:

1.            Faalelei Sione – Brumbies Colts U20s, Canberra Royals

2.            Jordan Uelese – Melbourne Rebels U20s, Melbourne University

3.            Tyrel Lomax – Brumbies Colts U20s, Tuggeranong Vikings

4.            Lukhan Tui – Queensland U20s, Brothers

5.            Izack Rodda – Queensland U20s, Easts

6.            Angus Scott-Young – Queensland U20s, University of Queensland

7.            Liam Wright – Queensland U20s, Easts

8.            Maclean Jones – Queensland U20s, University of Queensland

9.            James Tuttle (C) – Queensland U20s, GPS

10.         Nick Jooste – Brumbies Colts U20s, Wests

11.         Liam McNamara – Queensland U20s, Sunnybank

12.         Sione Tuipulotu – Melbourne Rebels U20s, Southern Districts

13.         Campbell Magnay – Queensland U20s, GPS

14.         Liam Jurd  - Queensland U20s, University of Queensland

15.         Jack Maddocks – NSW Gen Blue, Eastern Suburbs


16.         Ed Craig – NSW Gen Blue, Eastwood

17.         Richie Asiata – Queensland U20s, Easts

18.         Shambeckler Vui – Western Force U20s, University of Western Australia

19.         Harry Hockings – Queensland U20s, University of Queensland

20.         Rob Leota – Melbourne Rebels U20s, Melbourne University

21.         Harry Nucifora – Queensland U20s, Bond University

22.         Jordan Jackson-Hope – Brumbies Colts U20s, Tuggeranong Vikings

23.         Simon Kennewell – NSW Gen Blue, Randwick

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