Tuipulotu ready for final steps of Aussie U20s journey

World Rugby U20s Championship
by Sam Phillips

Sione Tuipulotu wants to end his third Australian U20s campaign with a bang ahead of tonight's clash with Italy.

The born and bred Victorian made his first appearance for the Aussie U20s as an 18-year-old and his experience has shown at this year's World Rugby U20s Champhionship

He has starred in the centres alongside Izaia Perese, leading the Australians defensively and continuously creating attacking opportunities with his explosive runs outside Harrison Goddard and Hamish Stewart.

While playing in a fifth place semi-final rather than a final four semi-final wasn't part of the plan, Tuipulotu reflected on the three-year ride after last night's captain's run.

"It was absolutely devastating going down to England," he said.

"The boys were really upset.

"Obviously we didn't come here to get second place, third place or fourth place - we really wanted to take out the tournament - so it will be hard to bounce back but the boys are excited about the two games ahead.

"I hope it's not the last time I represent my country but I'm looking forward to the last two times I play with the boys and making some memories on and off the field."

The St Kevin's product made his Rebels debut last year and if his form in Georgia is anything to go by, his return to Australia should see him feature as a part of Tony McGahan's plans moving forward.Sione Tuipulotu has impressed in his game time with the Rebels. Photo: Getty Images"It's exciting to go out and play for Melbourne - my home state," he said.

"I'm looking forward to getting home and trying to push for selection.

"We've had a tough year but I'm very excited about our future and I think we definitely have a lot to offer in the coming years."

But Tuipulotu's focus is squarely on beating the Italians tonight, as Australia pushes for a fifth place finish.

"They play with a lot of pride and they will play for each other so we have got to come ready to play.

"Everyone is good in this tournament so we expect everyone to front up and give us a good, tough game."

The Australian U20s take on Italy U20s tonight in Georgia, kicking off at 9:30pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.