Australians prepare for Samoan charge

by staff

The Australian U20’s side has been acclimatising to Italian conditions after arriving in Gavirate, as the team puts the final touches on its World Championship preparations.

Having completed three days of recovery at the Australian Institute of Sport’s European Training Centre in Varese, Australian U20’s Head Coach Adrian Thompson was happy with the wellbeing of his squad.

“We’ve been very fortunate to use the great facilities at the AIS which allowed our side to have access to a facility of International standard,” said Thompson.

“It’s an old cliché but it’s true we are just talking about Samoa at the moment and nothing else.”

Samoa has been an improving force at U20’s level, no doubt ensuring that the battle against Australia will be tight.

Targeting top four finish

The U20’s Head Coach hasn’t shied away from his ambitions, declaring he wants his young side to make the top four.

The junior program was revamped after a fifth place finish in 2014, with Thompson leading the charge.

“We haven’t made the semis for four or five years so that’s the first step. We’ll try and get into the top four which means either winning our pool or being the best placed second team.”

“We had a really good hit out against the Barbarians on Tuesday night and trained really hard for the rest of the week.

“I think it (the competition) will be tough and will throw up different types of footy. Samoa will play very much like the Kiwis, whereas South Africa will be much more physical.”

Good news for injured pair Brad Wilkin and Jonah Placid, after both were cleared of any major injury concerns.

The tournament, which will be broadcast on FOX SPORTS, kicks off next week with the top 12 Rugby nations to face off in Italy.