2017 Australian Schools Championships: 11 players to watch
Lachlan Connors (St Patrick’s College/QLD II)
The barnstorming QLD II No.8 carried the ball well all week and was rewarded with a spot in the Australian Schoolboys side after helping his side finish second.
Lachlan Lonergan (Trinity Christian College/ACT)
The 2016 Australian Schoolboys hooker looks to have returned an even better prospect this year and led his side to their first national title since 1988.
Trevor Hosea (Brisbane Boys College/QLD I)
Victorian born Queensland lock Trevor Hosea has already been signed by the Melbourne Rebels and after taking one look at him, you can understand why. Hosea is a giant and was the most physically imposing player on the park last week.
Will Goddard (St Edmund’s College/ACT)
ACT flyhalf Will Goddard is all class and a sharp shooter with the boot. While that was enough to help ACT win the title, Goddard will need to play his way into the Australian Schools squad after being selected in the Barbarians squad.
Jordan Petaia (Brisbane State High School/QLD I)
After impressing for the Australian Barbarians last year, Petaia earned promotion to the top squad this year after an impressive week. Easily one of the players of the tournament and consistently one of Queensland’s best.
Brendan Jimenez (St Edmund’s College/ACT)
Brendan Jimenez doesn’t have a lot of size but boy can this kid play. In arguably the best 15-minute stint of schoolboy rugby you’ll see, Jimenez scored two brilliant individual tries before setting up the match winner against NSW II. Unlucky to miss selection in the top squad but will likely impress for the Barbarians later this year.
Albert Hopoate (St Augustine’s College/NSW I)
Still only in year 10, Albert Hopoate not only held his only for NSW, but was best on field in a number of games last week. While there will be pressure on Hopoate to follow in the footsteps of his brother into the NRL, let’s hope he enjoys his rugby enough over the next few years to stay in the 15 man game.
Harry Wilson (Gregory Terrace/QLD I)
While Harry Wilson isn’t quite as big as his Queensland counterpart Trevor Hosea, his efforts around the park were first class all week and he was a standout in every one of Queensland’s matches.
Tom Yassmin (Scots College, NSW II)
Giant NSW winger Tom Yassmin made an impact every time he touched the ball and was rewarded with a spot in the Barbarians squad. Yassmin looks like a lock forward lost on the wing, until he gets in space and shows his serious wheels.
Campbell Parata (Southport School/QLD I)
Like Will Goddard, Queensland flyhalf Campbell Parata was unlucky to miss selection in the Australian squad and will play for the Barbarians. Parata showed plenty of class and has a strong rugby brain. His kicking game is Cooper Cronk like.
Hunter Ward (St Stanislaus, Bathurst/NSW II)
The unluckiest player of the week, Hunter Ward missed out on selection in either squad despite dominating in every match he played. Hopefully the ball running No.8 gets a chance later this year because on last week’s effort, he deserves it.