Six Victorians named in Wallabies u/20s Squad
Six Victorians have today been unveiled in the Junior Wallabies Training Squad.
Rebel squad members Semisi Tupou, Trevor Hosea and Esei Ha’angana will join Rebels u/19 representatives Oliver Barden, Tom Jeffries and Sione Tui in the first camp overseen by Head Coach Jason Gilmore.
The Junior Wallabies squad will be fighting for spots to compete at the Oceania Rugby U20s Championship on the Gold Coast and the World Rugby U20s Championship in Argentina.
Junior Wallabies Head Coach Jason Gilmore said: “This wider training squad that we have selected comes off the back of several weeks of national competition, both at the U19 Rugby Championship as well as the Australian Schoolboys.
“From here the boys will be linking up with their state-based academies where they will continue to train until we assemble in January at the Australian Institute of Sport where our preparations will really ramp up.”
For second year representatives Tupou, Ha’angana and Hosea, the 2019 Junior Wallabies campaign represents a chance to avenge their 5th place at the 2018 Junior World Cup.
One interested observer at the camp will be Rugby Australia’s Head of National Talent Management, Adrian Thompson.
“Working with the state academies we’re looking forward to seeing how these players continue to develop as they move through the U20s calendar year,” stated Thompson.
One player whose pathway progression has caught the attention of selectors is outside back Sione Tui. The St Kevin’s College old boy marked his first year of senior rugby with a premiership win with the Melbourne Unicorns.
2018 also saw Tui involved in the Melbourne Rebels Emerging Player Program where he honed his prodigious skills. His Man of the Match performance in the Dewar Shield Grand Final was enough to earn him a place in the Rising squad for the NRC, an experience that will prepare him well for the Junior Wallabies camp.
Fellow camp invite, Tom Jeffries, will be a name familiar to many Rebels fans. The younger brother of full time Rebels lock Sam Jeffries, Tom makes a return to rugby following a brief stint in AFL with the North Melbourne Kangaroos. With an imposing 200cm frame, Jeffries will battle it out with the likes of Ha’angana and Hosea for a spot in the second row.