Sevens stars ready for England U20s showdown

Thu, Jun 8, 2017, 12:07 AM
Sam Phillips
by Sam Phillips
The Aussie know they have a task ahead of them tonight when they take on Six Nations champions, England in their World Rugbu U20s clash in Georgia. A win will secure them top spot in Pool A and a straight forward path to the finals.

Liam McNamara has been here before.

He understands what it takes to beat England, having started on the left wing when Australia fell agonisingly short of victory in the corresponding match last year.

The English U20s program is unparalleled in its professionalism, with the team training all year round and preparing for the World Championship every year with a tilt at the Six Nations.

They have claimed three of the last four U20s titles and have cruised through their first two pool matches with an eye to tonight's blockbuster.

"It's really exciting that we get another chance this year to beat them," McNamara said.Liam McNamara has been superb for the Aussie U20s. Photo: ARU Media/Levan Verdzeuli"England is a really strong rugby nation.

"The Six Nations gives them a lot of time together and a lot of practice matches, which really helps with their continuity and helps build a strong bond.

"They have a really good side and having won the Six Nations, they come into the World Cup with a really strong side this year."

McNamara, along with Sevens teammates Henry Hutchison, has been instrumental in Australia's perfect start to the tournament.

He is a constant threat in attack with his slalom like runs, often spotting gaps and squeezing through them from wayward opposition kicks.


Hutchison, in contrast, is a ball of muscle that boasts a sharp turn of foot and top notch athleticism.

He wasn't part of the team that faced England last season but understands the challenge that awaits.

"The rivalry between the Aussies and the Poms goes back centuries so there is a strong rivalry there," he said.

"England have been the dominant force at this level for the past few years but I really believe we have the team to match them."Henry Hutchison has been instrumental in Australia's perfect start to the tournament. Photo: ARU Media/Levan VerdzeuliHutchison, McNamara and Izaia Perese have starred for the Australians so far and the Sevens star hopes there will be more opportunities with front foot ball tonight.

"We've got some great ball players with Harry Goddard and Hamish Stewart, some really powerful centres and a silky back three," Hutchison said.

"We're getting those combinations and it's a slow, progressive thing but coming to England, the third game, we are feeling really good and ready to rip in."

The Australian U20s face England tomorrow morning in Georgia, kicking off at 2:30am AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

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