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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.

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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:

THE BASICS
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.

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

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

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

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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;

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

 

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THE PRESENT
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.

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THE FUTURE
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.

  • Click here to sign up to RugbyPass TV for free live World Rugby U20s Championship matches from Saturday, June 29

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