Schedule tweaks for Junior Wallabies ahead of late-night opener

World Rugby U20s Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Junior Wallabies have tweaked their training schedule as they prepare for a late-night match against Wales to open their World Rugby U20s Championship campaign.

Australia’s match against Wales will kick off at 9pm local time, far later than any they’ve played this year, in what is expected to be a bruising contest in Perpignan.

The Aussies have shifted training through the week to later in the day ahead to prepare for the different lead-in, coach Jason Gilmore said.

“It is the first time the boys will play a game that late kicking off, so in our training this week, we've mocked a couple of simulations where we've trained later, so we can get that game day organised which is really important,” he said.

Australia will be outsized by the Welsh in the clash, and Gilmore said they’d need to be prepared for that challenge.

“Wales are a really big side, they're really physical, they've got some really strong ball runners in their forward pack, that we're going to have to be sharp on and they've got some boys back from pro rugby as well, so they're going to be bolstered up from Six Nations and it's going to be a really physical contest,” he said.

Gilmore said the side’s tackle technique and mental fortitude would be the critical elements against a big-bodied Wales side. </br.>

“We've just got to make sure we're mentally up for the challenge, against a bigger side,” he said.

“We know there's going to be a lot of contact in the game and we have to be smart with our contact points.

“We can't go high on them, they're a big side and we've just got to be up for the challenge for 80 minutes.”

One of the players who will have a more pronounced role in this championship will be Angus Blyth, who has stepped up to the starting side with his Queensland teammate Harry Hockings kept in Australia for Super Rugby duty.

“I’ve found the program really good this year, having more of a senior role in the lineouts and scrums, so it's really good for me and it's helping my confidence,” he said.

“Wales - we've had a look at them, they're a really big side, so I think one major aspect is our defence, so we're really looking to chop them low, get them on the ground first and get that speed of the line as well.”

Australia takes on Wales in the World Rugby U20s Championship on Wednesday May 30, 9pm local, Thursday May 31 5am AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.