UPDATE: Australia-Ireland U20 World Championshipsmatch cancelled due to weather

Tue, Jul 9, 2024, 7:51 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Australia U20s must brave cyclonic conditions and a red-hot Ireland to advance to the semi-finals. Photo: Getty Images
The Australia U20s must brave cyclonic conditions and a red-hot Ireland to advance to the semi-finals. Photo: Getty Images

UPDATE: The Australia U20s have been denied a shot at the World Rugby U20 Championship semi-finals after their final pool match against Ireland was cancelled due to heavy rain in Cape Town on Tuesday. With the pitch at Athlone Stadium deemed unplayable prior to the scheduled 2pm SAST / 10pm AEST kick-off, both Australia and Ireland were awarded two competition points as per the tournament rules.

Australia U20s coach Nathan Grey is looking to harness the cyclonic conditions in a quest to book their spot in the semi-finals against Ireland.

Wind gusts of close to 100 km/h and a downpour of close to 25mm are expected to welcome the two sides in Cape Town for the final pool game of the U20 World Championships.

Catch all the U20 World Championships games free on Rugby Pass TV

The Australians got a taste of it in their 17-12 defeat to Italy and coach Grey is hoping it will allow them to best adapt to the conditions on Tuesday.

“I think our forwards against Italy rolled their sleeves up and performed really well, we’ve just got to make sure that we can put them in the right part of the field. It’s going to be similar conditions we’ve played in which is great, that’ll be an advantage for us," he said.

“Ireland played Georgia last week in the radiant sunshine so we’re going to welcome them into some muddy, wet and tight footy.

“(Ireland) are pretty used to those types of conditions as well but their last two games have been in the good weather. We’ve had a tough on in the wet so we’re looking forward to it and looking to use that as an advantage."

Grey has named a side geared around the conditions, with Archie Saunders brought back onto the wing for his highball ability.

They have also named a 6-2 bench split, with Austin Durbidge set for his debut.

“We’re looking at this week as we win, we’re in. That’s our focus," Grey said.

“The guys have been training really well. We had a great session yesterday in the cyclonic conditions which was a bit of fun but the guys got stuck in and we’re prepared and ready to go.”

Australia needs to defeat top-ranked Ireland to ensure their qualification for the semi-finals.

Paris Olympic Games 2024: Rugby Sevens Fixtures
Wilson hungry to take latest Wallabies opportunity
Nick Malouf is hungry to avoid past failures and come back with a medal. Photo: Getty Images
Malouf, Australia Sevens enter Olympic village with redemption on their mind
The Wallabies take on Georgia in Sydney. Photo: Getty Images
Wallabies v Georgia: How to watch in Australia, teams, fixtures and more