Wilson and Bowen Headline Waratahs named in Junior Wallabies Squad

Tue, May 16, 2023, 11:58 PM
Waratahs Media
by Waratahs Media

Seven New South Wales representatives have been named in a 31-man Junior Wallabies squad for two games against the New Zealand Under-20s in Wellington.

The series presents a valuable opportunity for head coach Nathan Grey to test out combinations as preparations build for the World Rugby U20 Championship 2023 in South Africa.

The Junior Wallabies will face the Kiwis at NZCIS in Wellington at 12pm AEST Monday 29 May, before meeting again at Sky Stadium at 2.30pm AEST Saturday 3 June.

The second fixture will serve as a curtain-raiser to the Hurricanes vs. Crusaders Super Rugby Pacific fixture and be broadcast live on Stan Sport.

The selected players will go into camp on the Gold Coast from Sunday 21 May.

Waratahs fullback Max Jorgensen, along with Reds playmaker Tom Lynagh and Force front rower Marley Pearce were initially selected in the squad but will be unavailable for the NZ series due to their Super Rugby Pacific commitments.

They have been replaced by Tom Morrison , Harry McLaughlin-Phillips and Chris Mickelson.

"We're very excited about getting the squad together and testing ourselves against New Zealand, who always present a great challenge" Grey said.

"In particular the scheduling of the second game as a curtain-raiser to the Super Rugby Pacific fixture presents a valuable opportunity for the players to experience a big stadium and a big stage to perform on.

"Many of the players in this squad essentially picked themselves through the quality and consistency of their performances playing for their clubs over the last month.

"Super Rugby Pacific commitments have forced some changes but we have the benefit of being able to draw from an extended shadow squad of players who have been involved in the program to date.

"From all corners of Australia, they come together under the Junior Wallabies banner, to represent their country with pride and take a huge step in their development as Rugby players."

The Junior Wallabies are drawn to face Fiji, Ireland and England in the pool stage of the World Rugby U20 Championship, which kicks off on 24 June.

The Championship represents the pinnacle of international age-group Rugby and is renowned for providing the game's future stars with a platform to shine before reaching Test level.

At the most recent tournament in Argentina in 2019, the Junior Wallabies demonstrated the promise within the Australian development system, with the likes of Nick Frost, Noah Lolesio, Angus Bell, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Fraser McReight, Ben Donaldson and Lachlan Lonergan guiding the team to the Final.

Junior Wallabies Squad

Jack Barrett (Randwick) Ollie McCrea (Eastern Suburbs) Teddy Wilson (Eastern Suburbs) Jack Bowen (Eastern Suburbs) Henry O'Donnell (Northern Suburbs) Jackson Ropata (Southern Districts) Tom Morrison (Sydney Uni)


Taj Annan (Souths) John Bryant (Souths) Ben Daniels (Brothers) Nick Bloomfield (Easts) Harrison Usher (Bond) Jarrod Homan (Easts) Tim Ryan (Brothers) Nick Baker (GPS) Trevor King (Souths) Max Craig (Easts) Harry McLaughlin-Phillips (Souths)


Leafi Talataina (Endeavour Hills) Mason Gordon (Wests Bulldogs) David Vaihu (Wests Bulldogs) Daniel Maiava (Wyndham Rhinos)


Liam Bowron (Royals) Massimo De Lutiis (Wests) Lachlan Hooper (Tuggeranong) Klayton Thorn (Gungahlin) Matias Jensen (Randwick) Chris Mickelson (Uni-Norths)


Ned Slack-Smith (Palmyra) Jhy Legg (Wests Scarborough)

AU Sevens

Darby Lancaster

* Max Jorgensen, Tom Lynagh and Marley Pearce initially selected but unavailable for the NZ series due to Super Rugby Pacific commitments