Australian U20s: Five players to watch
While Australia dropped to sixth spot after a disappointing loss to Scotland overnight, there were still plenty of positives to take from the side’s performance at the U20s World Cup.
A narrow loss to eventual finalists England in the final pool match derailed the Australian’s campaign, but there were a number of impressive individual performances in Georgia.
Izaia Perese proved he is the real deal with a dominant display in Georgia. The Queensland Reds outside back scored four tries in Australia’s five games and looked dangerous every time he touched the ball. While it may be a year or two until we see him dominate at Super Rugby level, Perese has immense potential and will only continue to get better as he grows into his body.
Harrison Goddard was the surprise package of the tournament for Australia and arguably the young Wallabies best in Georgia. Following a move to Melbourne to link with the Rebels earlier this year, the former Randwick No.9 was brilliant from the base of the scrum and solid with the boot, finishing the tournament as the second highest point scorer.
Hard working Queensland flanker Angus Scott-Young made the most tackles of all the Australians in Georgia and didn’t stop all tournament. In his second year with the Australian U20s, the son of former Wallaby Sam Scott-Young continued to impress and looks ready to step up to Super Rugby in the next year or so.
Australia’s captain was consistently one of the best on the park in both attack and defence. After a frustrating few years with injuries, Hewat looks to have benefited from a more consistent 2017 season and showed his class and maturity throughout the tournament.
2016 Australian Schoolboy centre Hunter Paisami missed out on selection in the Australian U20s side but played with Samoa in Georgia and finished the tournament with the most clean breaks (16) of any player.