Audio Interview - Irb Junior World Cup Preview

Scotland under-20 head coach, Eamon John, speaks exclusively to scottishrugby.org ahead of the IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina giving his thoughts on the progress of the youngsters during, and since, the 6 Nations, preparation for the World Championships, and the prospect of facing formidable Pool C opponents Australia, South Africa and Tonga over just eight days.

Scotland under-20 head coach, Eamon John, speaks exclusively to scottishrugby.org ahead of the IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina giving his thoughts on the progress of the youngsters during, and since, the 6 Nations, preparation for the World Championships, and the prospect of facing formidable Pool C opponents Australia, South Africa and Tonga over just eight days.

6 NATIONS
“I think there are some mixed emotions on the 6 Nations but we’ve seen some players develop through the age-grade and into the professional environment which is only good for the game in Scotland so, in relation to individuals coming through, it’s been really pleasing.

“But what we must take on board are the serious lessons learned on how to compete with the best teams and we’re certainly going to have to have that going into the World Cup.

PREP
“For the last month, and in fact since the 6 Nations, the boys players have been fitness tested again and put back on conditioning programmes while focussing moving our game forward while being conscious of the teams we’re playing – so being a position to offer different options for different games.

“Not every player gets the opportunity to go to a World Cup of any kind so there’s a real prestige from being involved in that environment and there’s an excitement – as there should be.

“To play five test matches in 17 days, with a four day turnaround between each day is really physically and mentally demanding so recovery is really important for us and being really accurate and specific about what we think are the important bits that we need to get right for our performance.”

THE POOLS
“The groups probably don’t get much tougher than ours. The balance of skill and physicality make it a very interesting group. It’s very tough and very demanding but that’s what it’s about, we’ve got to see which players in our system can go and compete at a world level.”

“We want to be top eight in the world though this world cup is slightly different to others because of the relegation situation. If you’re outside the top ten this year you could be out of the Championship [dropping into the Junior World Trophy] and that has big implications for the nations involved.”