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Getting to know: Australia U20s out-half Harry McLaughlin-Phillips

By Liam Heagney
Harry McLaughlin-Phillips in action for Australia U20s (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The strike rate for 10s who play for Australia at the World Rugby U20 Championship going on to make a Test-level breakthrough with the Wallabies isn’t all that great. However, if selection was a criteria that included good manners and conversational ability, then Harry McLaughlin-Phillips has every chance of altering that sequence in the years to come as he presents immensely well and talks insightfully.


He was waiting on time in the hotel lobby in Cape Town the other day when RugbyPass came to shoot the breeze about a promising career that has already garnered a half-dozen Super Rugby appearances this year with the Les Kiss-revamped Reds in Brisbane.

An in-depth interview covering all that ground will be published on RugbyPass next week. In the meantime, ahead of Australia’s opening match at the 2024 age-grade tournament this Saturday versus Georgia in Athlone, here is what McLaughlin-Phillips had to say when taking the Getting to Know quickfire Q&A:

Born: April 13, 2004;
Joined country age-grade: U18 schools, 2022. I made the team but we didn’t have a game because of covid.
Club: Reds;
Position: Out-half;
Height: 5ft 8;
Weight: 89kgs;
Boots: Asics Menace 4s;
Gumshield: The ones World Rugby have given us with the instruments;
Headgear: I used to when I was younger. I don’t know what I stopped, not sure. Didn’t look good (laughs);
School: Brisbane Boys College.

RATE YOURSELF (out of 100)
Pace: 75;
Passing: 85;
Tackling: 85;
Kicking: 80.

World Rugby U20 Championship
Australia U20
35 - 11
Georgia U20
All Stats and Data

My favourite Australia player of all time is… David Pocock;

Favourite try I have ever scored is… Geez, maybe last year here against England;


A rugby memory that makes me smile is… Winning the school comp, the GPS first XV.

The moment I realised I could make it is… Probably when I got a scholarship to school in Brisbane when I was 13;

One piece of advice I would give to my younger self is… To get what you want you have got to make sacrifices;

My best subject in school was… Maths;

The first player who made me fall in love with rugby is… Dan Carter;


The coach who has most impacted my game is… The coach I had at school, Carl Fritz.


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A post shared by Queensland Reds (@redsrugby)

My best attributes on the field are… Ball carrying;

One thing I’m doing to improve my education is… Business and law at university;

My favourite current Australia player isProbably Noah Lolesio;

My favourite YouTuber is… Nah, not a big YouTuber. I can’t think of anyone;

My hardest working teammate is… Toby Macpherson;

My most skilful teammate is… Ronan Leahy;

My favourite training drill is… Three-on-twos;

My favourite music artist is… Zach Bryan.


A player who could go all the way is… Ronan Leahy;

If I could play with anyone, I would like to play with… Aaron Smith;

I will be happy with my career if I… To win a Rugby World Cup;

One thing I want to add to my game is… Game management skills;

One person I want to meet is… Denzel Washington;

One trophy I would love to win is… U20s World Cup.

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