Pair gets thumbs-up from coach

Aaron Younger. Picture: Pearse Photography
Aaron Younger. Picture: Pearse Photography

Younger is one of eight returning London Olympians in the squad selected by coach Fatovic.

Lawrence, who has been a peripheral member of the Australian squad for a couple of seasons ” having played 28 tests for the Sharks ” will have his first chance to play at a major international tournament at the World Championships in Barcelona.

Fatovic, who took over as national mentor in January, praised both players on their selection and predicted big things from Younger in particular.

‘Aaron has played a very important role in one of Hungary’s best clubs (Szeged) and he has improved a lot in that time,’ he said.

‘He’ll be one of the most important players at the world championships and although he’s young he’s got the experience against the big European players and teams which is crucial.’

Fatovic said he was pleased with the team’s preparation in Sydney and was optimistic about the Sharks’ chances.

‘Around half of the team is new since the London Olympics, but I’m optimistic because we are working really hard,’ he said.

‘We must have a lot of patience as everything is new, but we will try and play the best we can and I think with the attitude we have we can play very well.’

Australian stalwart Rhys Howden, a veteran of two Olympic Games, echoed Fatovic’s comments on the Sharks’ and believed 24-year-old Lawrence deserves his chance on the big stage.

‘We’re very excited,’ he said.’

‘We’ve had a lot of good camps so we’re really looking forward to it and are very eager to be there, start playing and see how all the hard work pays off,’ Howden said.

‘We’ve still got the experience on our side from our eight London Olympians, but the youth that we have is a big plus and hopefully these guys can step up.’

‘Dan (Lawrence) has been around the team for some time and probably a bit unlucky not to make it and I’m glad he has persisted.

‘He’s got great legs and speed and a very deceptive shot, so I’m looking forward having him back in the team.’