McDermott to start for Junior Wallabies against Japan

World Rugby U20s Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Tate McDermott will take the halfback spot and the captaincy when the Junior Wallabies face Japan in their second World Rugby U20s match on Sunday.

McDermott has been named to start at nine ahead of usual Ryan Lonergan, who will be on the pine for the match.

Coach Jason Gilmore has made three other changes to his starting side from the team that lost to Wales, with Michael Wood starting in the second row, replacing Trevor Hosea, while Patrick Tafa will start at no. 8 in front of Josh Kemeny.

Kemeny shifts to the pine, while Hosea has been left out of the 23 altogether. 

Tate McDermott will start for the Junior Wallabies against Japan. Photo: World RugbyIn the backline, Isiah Latu will start on the wing in front of James Ramm, with Lawson Creighton coming onto the bench.

The Junior Wallabies face a must-win clash against Japan, after losing that opening match against Wales, with only the three pool winners and the top second-placed side qualifying for the semi-finals.

Gilmore said the team was keen to show improvement after their opener.

“We’ve talked about the areas we need to improve on and the team is hungry to put out a better performance in our second match of the World Championship," he said.

“Japan will be a tough opponent and we have seen how when given the opportunity how well they can move the ball.

“The group has responded well at training and we’re looking forward to our next challenge.” 

The Junior Wallabies take on Japan on Sunday at 2pm local, 10pm AEST, broadcast at 8am Monday on FOX SPORTS.


IN: Lawson Creighton, Rory Suttor

OUT: James Ramm, Trevor Hosea

1. Harry Hoopert

2. Efi Maa’afu

3. Tom Ross

4. Michael Wood

5. Angus Blyth

6. Esei Ha’angana

7. Fraser McReight

8. Patrick Tafa

9. Tate McDermott (c)

10. Bayley Kuenzle

11. Matt McTaggert

12. Isaac Lucas

13. Semisi Tupou

14. Isiah Latu

15. Mack Hansen


16. Sama Malolo

17. George Francis

18. Laurence Tominiko

19. Josh Kemeny

20. Rory Suttor

21. Ryan Lonergan (vc)

22. Will Harrison

23. Lawson Creighton