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RICHARD Tardy has underlined the weight of Rwanda’s opening game in the upcoming Fifa U-17 World Cup.
The Junior Wasps are in Group C and open their campaign on June 19 against England before playing Uruguay and Canada in Pachuca, Mexico.
But Tardy, who became a fans’ favourite after guiding the team to the World Cup, insists that the result of the first game will have a huge bearing on the team’s campaign.
“We need a good start to boost our confidence for the other games. For now, our target is to get to the second round but to do this, we need to finish inside the top two in our group,” he said.
The youngsters, who are now camped in Taos, New Mexico, play their first of three friendlies this afternoon against Rio Vista U19 at Taos Eco Park.
Meanwhile, England U-17 coach John Peacock has named his final squad for the World Cup.
Peacock made a few changes from the team which reached the semi-final of the UEFA U-17 Championship last month.
They include goalkeeper Tyrell Belford, one of six Liverpool players in the squad, and Manchester City midfielder George Evans.
Matt Regan and Raheem Sterling also return to the squad after being forced out of the Euros with injury.
England is making her second appearance in the competition. They made their debut four years ago in South Korea.
GOALKEEPERS: Tyrell Belford (Liverpool), Ben Garratt (Crewe Alexandra), Jordan Pickford (Sunderland).
DEFENDERS: Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea), Jordan Cousins (Charlton Athletic), Adam Jackson (Middlesbrough), Sam Magri (Portsmouth), Brad Smith (Liverpool), Matt Regan (Liverpool).
MIDFIELDERS: Jake Caskey (Brighton & Hove Albion), Jack Dunn (Liverpool), George Evans (Manchester City), John Lundstram (Everton), Nick Powell (Crewe Alexandra), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Blair Turgott (West Ham United).
FORWARDS: Max Clayton (Crewe Alexandra), Alex Henshall (Manchester City), Hallam Hope (Everton), Adam Morgan (Liverpool), Nathan Redmond (Birmingham City).