Junior Wallaby Coach Nathan Grey has named his 31-man squad for the upcoming Oceania Tournament, with New South Wales well represented with 11 players selected.
The selections for Nathan Grey’s squad have been based on both continued training with the Waratahs Academy and from some impressive performances in the Shute Shield as well as the Australian Sevens program.
A total of nine players have been selected from the Waratahs Academy, while Ben Pollack has been picked directly out of the Shute Shield after some impressive performances for Gordon and Jordan Williams of the Western Sydney Two Blues makes his way to the side via the Australian Men’s Sevens program.
Perseverance has paid off for Hamish Moore who after spending two years in the Waratahs Academy and playing Australia Schools and U18’s in 2019, had to overcome three serious injuries while working fulltime and playing club footy, graduating from colts to 1st Grade at Eastern Suburbs.
NSW Waratahs Academy members Mosese Tuipulotu, Langi Gleeson and Tiaan Tauakipulu who had taken part in Nathan Grey’s earlier Junior Wallaby training camps this year were unavailable for selection due to injury.
Junior Wallaby Assistant Coach and Waratahs Skills coach Shannon Fraser said the selections are an important step for the future development of the players and a fitting reward for their hard work and dedication to their rugby.
“The selection of 11 players from NSW is a great reward for the hard work they have put in for both the Waratahs Academy and the form they have shown at their clubs,” Fraser said.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for these guys to test themselves against the Junior All Blacks in two Tests and an important step in furthering their rugby development.
“We have seen how important this pathway is at the Waratahs this year with a number of players successfully transitioning into Super Rugby off the back of strong performances for the Junior Wallabies”
Junior Wallabies Head Coach Nathan Grey said “31 players have been selected after a difficult selection discussion going over the 65 players who have contributed to the past two Junior Wallaby camps.
“A handful of players with Super Rugby experience will add to the academy and club players from across Australia.
“They will be representing themselves, family, friends, and others their age who would love the opportunity to play in an abbreviated Oceania Competition”.
NSW players selected in 2021 Junior Wallabies Squad:
Nick Chan, Waratahs Academy, Randwick
Sione Taufui, Waratahs Academy, Sydney Uni
Dan O’Brien, Waratahs Academy, Randwick
Hugh Bokenham, Waratahs Academy, Sydney Uni
Ben Pollack, Gordon
Ben Dowling, Waratahs Academy, Randwick
Hamish Moore, Waratahs Academy, Eastern Suburbs
Adrian Brown, Waratahs Academy, Eastwood
Teddy Wilson, Waratahs Academy, Eastern Suburbs
Dan Botha, Waratahs Academy, Sydney Uni
Jordan Williams, Aus 7’s, Western Sydney Two Blues