Five Junior Wallabies training the house down ahead of the U20s World Cup
Australia’s rebranded under 20s side the Junior Wallabies are several months in to a revamped program, aimed at improving the development of our young stars and ensuring better results at May’s U20s World Championship.
A 55-man extended squad was announced last year ahead of four five day camps leading into the Oceania U20s Championship on the Gold Coast next month.
Our spies have kept an eye on things at the first three camps over the past few months and have picked out five players who have been training the house down so far.
Brumbies No.9 Ryan Lonergan missed the 2017 World Cup through injury but went on to make his Super Rugby debut against the Chiefs in Hamilton last year.
The super competitive former Australian Schoolboy isn’t afraid of the tough stuff and we’re told he could be in line for a Junior Wallabies leadership role this year.
Melbourne Rebels outside back Semisi Topou made his Australian U20s debut last year as a 17-year old and has returned in 2018 in tremendous shape on the back of his first full professional preseason.
The Nudgee College product is expected to provide plenty of punch for the Junior Wallabies in the outside channels and will be a scary proposition when he eventually stops growing.
Like Ryan Lonergan, Queensland loosehead prop Harry Hoopert missed the 2017 campaign with a shoulder injury and has used that disappointment as motivation over the past 12 months.
Hoopert started for Brothers in last weekend’s opening Premier Rugby clash and will only benefit from competing against the big boys at scrum time when it comes to the U20s World Cup.
Another who missed a lot of last year through injury, Randwick winger James Ramm has flown under the radar a little, but continues to get better every time he returns to a Junior Wallabies campaign.
The big bodied outside back can kick in play and from the tee and could get plenty of opportunity on the end of an exciting Australian backline.
Bond University lock Angus Blyth spent the back end of last year playing NRC for QLD Country under Brad Thorn and if the performance of some of his NRC teammates is anything to go by, Blyth could be in for a big year.
The hard working, no nonsense 204cm lock is strong at set piece and from all reports, knows how to move bodies at the breakdown, something that could prove crucial for the Junior Wallabies against the bigger sides at the World Cup.