Scrum doctor prepared powerful Aussie U20s scrum

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Wallabies scrum doctor Mario Ledesma has emerged as the man behind the Australian U20s scrum that has been a source of sustained attacking power.

The famous Argentinian coach has created an attacking weapon that dominated the Oceania Championship before proving too hot to handle for Wales and Samoa.

But dominating ho-hum Welsh and Samoan scrums and taking on the might of England is another matter altogether.

"We've come a long way since the Oceania tournament," prop Harry Johnson-Holmes said.Ledesma barking instructions at Wallabies training this week. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"When we first came together we were a bit disjointed with a lot of people coming from different teams, different backgrounds.

"It was good to get everyone on the same page and I think everyone has really benefitted from Mario's work."

Johnson-Holmes and the rest of the pack will endeavour to use the set piece as a platform upon which flyhalf Hamish Stewart can unleash the attacking prowess of Izaia Perese, Henry Hutchison and Liam McNamara on Friday morning (AEST).

"It's been a good weapon for us - in both attack and defence," Johnson-Holmes said.Johnson-Holmes has been in fine form for the Australians in their first two starts. Photo: World Rugby/Lasha Kuprashvili"We've been able to get a few turnovers by being aggressive and that's given our backs some good quality ball.

"That's definitely something we will be looking to take advantage of in the England game but Northern Hemisphere sides are always quite good at scrums so we're not resting on our laurels there.

"We are still working hard to make sure that is going to be a weapon."

England smashed Samoa but didn't have things all their own way against Wales.

Their form looks to be that of a team preparing for the showdown with Australia, who were expected to be their toughest pool opponent before a ball was kicked.

The winner of Friday's clash will progress to the semi-finals, while the loser will be forced to rely on other results to earn the fourth seed.

The Australian U20s take on England U20s on Friday morning, kicking off at 2:30am AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

Join the discussion

Advertisement