Monday, July 22, 2024

Junior Wallabies’ appeal dismissed after under 20s washout

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Rugby Australia’s appeal against the cancellation of a critical Junior Wallabies game has been dismissed by World Rugby, who determined a decision to call off the World Under 20s Championship game due to wet weather was reasonable.

RA challenged the decision on Wednesday after the Junior Wallabies’ final pool game against Ireland was called off in Cape Town due to the field being “unplayable”, following heavy rain.

Junior Wallabies five-eighth Harry McLaughlin-Phillips during a previous under 20s championship game against Italy.Credit: Getty Images

Two games were played later in the day on the same field, however, and Australian under 20s coach Nathan Grey was left fuming given the Junior Wallabies could have qualified for the semi-finals with a victory over Ireland.

The teams shared the points, which saw Ireland progress to the last four.

Grey said the conditions were fine to play in and suggested the Ireland team doctor influenced the decision of World Rugby’s tournament director.

RA high-performance boss Peter Horne lodged an appeal with World Rugby, arguing there was not due consideration given to delaying or rescheduling the game, as per tournament rules, and called for the game to played on Wednesday.

The state of Athlone Stadium in Cape Town, when the decision was made it was unplayable.

The state of Athlone Stadium in Cape Town, when the decision was made it was unplayable.

A World Rugby hearing overnight backed the tournament director’s call to cancel the game, however, and said it was not unreasonable to not reschedule given the logistical challenges of playing a game the next day, and the fact both teams would lose a day in preparation for the semi-finals on Sunday.

Ireland provided a written submission backing World Rugby’s decision to cancel the game.

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