The Australia U20s have begun preparations ahead of their final game of the World Rugby U20s Championship, which will see them take on New Zealand in the fifth place-playoff.
While disappointed not to make the top four, Australia have never finished higher than New Zealand at the U20s tournament. This weekend provides the team have the chance to create history.
For Brumbies prop Tyrel Lomax, it gives the Aussie side a chance to finish on a high.
“We’re all very excited about Saturday’s game and we’re slowly easing into preparations with two full days of training ahead of the match,” Lomax said.
“I guess not finishing in the top four was a let down for us, but this is the next best thing, taking on New Zealand who have dominated junior Rugby in recent years.”
Lomax started at tight-head prop in both of Australia’s Tests against New Zealand at Bond University earlier in 2016, where they claimed their first ever win over New Zealand at the U20s level in the second match.
The team are hungry for the win on Saturday, which would leave the ledger at two-to-one in the Australian’s favour for 2016.
“New Zealand have a history of success at this level and to make it two-one over them for the year, that would be a massive achievement for us.”
Having already played the Kiwis twice, the team have some idea of what to expect when they hit the field at AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.
“We have seen how they play and we know how we can play against them. We can also identify areas of their game to target, but we’ll do a lot of video review sessions of those two games at Bond as well as their games here in Manchester ahead of Saturday.”
For winger Liam McNamara, he has started in every game for Australia in Manchester, but is yet to face New Zealand at the U20s level.
“The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand is massive so it’s going to be a big match. I’m just excited to get out there and rip in,” McNamara said.
Australia takes on New Zealand in the fifth-place playoff at 1:45am AEST on Sunday and will be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.