Australia under-20s coach Simon Cron targets Oceania Championship win despite nightmare schedule

THEY have only just assembled as a squad but new Australia under-20s coach Simon Cron says his side still expect to win the Oceania Championship which kicks off on the Gold Coast on Friday.

The team got together on Tuesday afternoon ahead of their opening match against Samoa on Friday night (7pm AEST).

Matches against Fiji on Tuesday (5pm AEST) and New Zealand on May 6 (7pm AEST), will follow in the tournament which serves as preparation for the world champs in Georgia.

It is just the second time this year that Cron — who led Northern Suburbs to their first Shute Shield win in 41 years last season — has got his hands on the under-20s squad, following a two and a half day camp earlier this month.

The scenario is hardly ideal for a top-tier rugby nation, as Australia tries to improve on last year’s sixth placing at the May-June world championship.

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