Future Force boys get World Championship call-up
Promising young West Australian Force players, Carlo Tizzano and Michael McDonald have been named as part of the Junior Wallabies squad to play in the 2019 World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Argentina in June.
Both McDonald and Tizzano have developed their craft through the RugbyWA Senior Academy pathways. It has been a big year for the pair with both having made their debuts for the Western Force in the Global Rapid Rugby competition as well as helping the Junior Wallabies to victory in the recent Oceania U20s Championship.
Inclusion in Australia’s U20 team is particularly sweet for Tizzano after initially being invited to join the Junior Wallabies camp as an injury cover for the Oceanic Championship.
His work rate and application to the team made a lasting impression and Tizzano said he is excited but ready for the challenges of playing against the best young players in the world.
“When you play these international teams you get different types of styles. Fiji has a real offloading/free-flowing game, Japan has a different style which includes a lot of cross-field kicks. I’m looking forward to seeing England and Ireland too,” Tizzano said.
“It will be great to see what type of styles I can learn from them and go from there.”
For Irish-born Michael McDonald, the prospect of playing against his home country is a bittersweet experience that he is looking forward to.
“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s going to be cool. It will be an opportunity I will relish forever and really take it all in, at the moment,” McDonald said.
After making his Junior Wallaby captain debut against Fiji in their second Oceania U20 championship match on the Gold Coast, McDonald says he will always be proud to pull on the green and gold jersey.
“It’s a huge honour to be representing Australia,” McDonald said.
“I’m just looking forward to going over to Argentina. I think building off the back of what we did in Oceania, what we did well as a team and as a unit, I’m just really looking forward to it.”
The 19-year-old flanker, Tizzano, said Saturday’s 24-point victory against the Junior All Blacks on the Gold Coast highlighted the hard work and determination of the team, while also giving the side plenty of confidence heading to Argentina next month.
“The All Blacks are definitely an 80-minute team, some teams can only go the 60 so we knew going into the match that we really needed to pressure them hard,” Tizzano said.
“I feel like we did that and ruffled a few feathers.
“We ended up getting a real nice win, especially keeping them scoreless as well which was unreal and it was really good to be a part of that.”
While acknowledging he is still learning his trade, Tizzano doesn’t take a backwards step on the field and will look to continue to bring enthusiasm and passion when called upon.
“I’m just looking to do my part where I can, I’m more than happy to do what’s best for the team. A lot of my focus when I come on is to bring the energy I can to the team,” he said.
2019 World Rugby U20s Championship Pool B Fixtures*
Tuesday 4 June
Junior Wallabies v Italy, 11.30pm AEST, Club de Rugby Ateneo Inmaculada, Santa Fe
Sunday 9 June
Junior Wallabies v Ireland, 4.30am AEST, Club de Rugby Ateneo Inmaculada, Santa Fe
Thursday 13 June
Junior Wallabies v England, 4.30am AEST, Club de Rugby Ateneo Inmaculada, Santa Fe
2019 World Rugby U20s Championship Full Squad
Michael McDonald (WA), Carlo Tizzano (WA), Triston Reilly (7’s), Nick Frost (ACT), Noah Lolesio (ACT), Lachlan Lonergan (ACT), Bo Abra (NSW), Angus Bell (NSW), Darcy Breen (NSW), Ben Donaldson (NSW), Will Harris (NSW), Will Harrison (NSW), Mark Nawaqanitawase (NSW), Henry Robertson (NSW), Pat Tafa (NSW), Joey Walton (NSW), Joe Cotton (QLD), Isaac Lucas (QLD), Fraser McReight (QLD), Josh Nasser (QLD), Kye Oates (QLD), Rhys Van Nek (QLD), Harry Wilson (QLD), Michael Wood (QLD), Esei Ha’angana (VIC), Trevor Hosea (VIC), Sione Tui (VIC), Semisi Tupou (VIC).
Photos: rugby.com.au/Stuart Walmsley