Junior Wallabies’ appeal dismissed after under 20s washout

Junior Wallabies’ appeal dismissed after under 20s washout Junior Wallabies five-eighth Harry McLaughlin-Phillips during a previous under 20s championship game against Italy.

Rugby Australia have formally called on World Rugby to replay a critical Junior Wallabies clash against Ireland in South Africa later on Wednesday, claiming a decision to cancel the World Under 20 Championship fixture overnight due to wet weather and an unplayable field was flawed.

The World Rugby decision denied the “shattered” young Australian team a chance to progress to the semi-finals, given the Junior Wallabies had to beat Ireland to top the pool. Instead, they shared the points and Ireland went through.

After heavy rainfall around Cape Town, World Rugby tournament organisers inspected the field at Athlone Stadium and said in a statement it was “currently declared not safe to play”.

But an hour later World Rugby changed its position, saying the ground was “sufficiently drained” and two later games – including South Africa v England – were played.

Images of the venue before the 2pm Australia-Ireland fixture show some areas of surface water and groundsmen using leafblowers.

But a “bitterly disappointed” Junior Wallabies coach Nathan Grey said in a subsequent interview the “conditions are fine” and suggested Ireland officials had influenced the decision.

Rugby Australia high-performance boss Peter Horne this morning lodged an appeal with World Rugby, saying there had been no reasonable attempt to reschedule the fixture, as per the tournament provisions.

An RA spokesman confirmed it had requested the Junior Wallabies’ clash with Ireland be played on Wednesday (South Africa time).

That would mean either Australia or Ireland have a four-day turnaround to the semi-finals on Sunday.

Grey recorded an interview after the decision, in which he suggested Ireland’s doctor had influenced World Rugby’s decision.

The interview - with a caption of “The Nathan Grey hot take” - was posted on RugbyPass but was later taken down. World Rugby own RugbyPass.

“Bitterly disappointed for the players and the staff … but the decision has been taken out of our hands and we don’t get the opportunity to play Ireland and finish on top of our pool,” Grey said.

“We played two games of the [under 20s] Rugby Championships this year ... in much worse conditions but a strong push from the Irish doctor seemed to work with World Rugby around cancelling the game.

“It is what it is. The decision has been taken out of our hands and we will just have to cop it. The boys are shattered. I am sure World Rugby are doing it for the right reasons, I just hope they’re true.”

Asked what he would have preferred happened, Grey said: “Play the game. The conditions are fine. The surface water is not really that bad.

“Yeah, it’s boggy, it’s wet but no worse than Ireland would have played in before and certainly that we have played in before.

“The conditions were probably better than what we played against Italy in, so it’s a bit confusing.”

Australia are scheduled to play against Wales in the 5th to 8th play-offs.

World Rugby have been contacted.

More to come.Watch everyJuly International Test Rugbymatch ad-free, live and on demand onStan Sport

  • https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/junior-wallabies-appeal-dismissed-after-under-20s-washout/ar-BB1pHKAL?ocid=00000000

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