U20s preparation ramping up

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Australia U20s are in a good place as they warm up for the World U20s Championships.

After a 45-20 win over the Barbarians on Tuesday night, coach Adrian Thompson said the side was ahead of expectations but with another World Championships warm up game, against NSW Country, on Saturday, there was work to do.

“The next 4-5 days are really important for us now,” he said.

“We’re probably ahead of where we have been in the past but if we don’t finish the camp off well and finish with a good performance Saturday it won’t mean a lot.”

Tuesday night’s match was a scrappy affair but Thompson said the challenge of playing against senior players was crucial for the side.

“It was obviously pretty scrappy and didn’t get to what we hoped it would but in saying that the Baa Baas turned up and ripped in and they were some older tougher heads there so it’s good experience for us.”

The Australia U20s and Australian Barbarians pose for a photo following their match. Photo: Karen Watson

U20s back Harry Nucifora made his return from injury in the game, with the U20s scoring a try well after full-time, and said pushing for the full 80 minutes was a big positive for the side.

“You’ve got to make the most of all these opportunities and to be able to have a centre field scrum which you don’t get often in a game,” he said.

“The backs executed well and to score that try was a really good finish especially when we’d been a bit slow beforehand so it was a good positive note to end on.”

Nucifora said they would be focused on preparation ahead of Saturday’s game, wanting to get

“I think back to preparation again,” he said.

“We have trained well, we‘ve beaten New Zealand at Bond and we have a lot of skill and talent.

“It’s just having that skill and preparation and having no lapses in a game and I think we’ll go really well at the World Cup.”

The Australia U20s play NSW Country on Saturday at Chatswood Oval at 6:30pm AEST.