Junior Wallabies stars Trevor Hosea and Esei Haangana say the lessons learnt from their Junior World Cup finals appearance can act as a springboard for their impending NRC and Super Rugby campaigns.
“I think the confidence you get from that tournament gives you a head start into the NRC,” observed Haangana.
The towering lock, who already has seven Super Rugby caps to his name, cited the tournament format as key to his development.
“It (the Junior World Cup) got my head around preparation; just knowing how to prepare for a game when there’s a short turnaround.
“A lot of these games you only get three or so day turnarounds and you don’t get to do much training. A lot of your focus is on mental preparation. I learnt a lot about that and felt like I developed a lot over there.”
Featuring in his second successive Junior World Cup, fellow lock Trevor Hosea also reflected kindly on the lessons the Junior Wallabies took from Argentina.
“This year we spent more time prepping together as a team, more time together bonding and that’s what created the winning environment that we had. The boys are real tight and I guess the bond that we created showed on the rugby field,” said Hosea.
“It was a major confidence booster to get out there and share the field with all the boys. To do it in the green and gold was just the best feeling ever.
“I guess it really sets me up for the NRC coming up. I just have to keep my body in good knick and hopefully carry some good form into NRC and look to push my name forward for selection next year (in Super Rugby).
“The hard work has now begun, so I’ve just got to keep pushing through,” explained Hosea.
Away from their busy rugby schedule, the boys were quick to agree on the highlight of the tour.
“The food,” explained Haangana with a grin.
“The meat over there; they cook a terrific steak. We ate out quite a bit actually, just to get around the (local) culture. Argentina is one of the best places I’ve ever been.”
Those sentiments were echoed by teammate Hosea.
“Argentina was definitely a beautiful place.
“Just the BBQ’s and stuff; the ribs and steaks, all the meat we had. It was pretty good to enjoy that food with your best mates.
“Just being in the presence of the boys – Semisi (Tupou), Sione (Tui) and Esei; just being around them pretty much 24/7 created such a strong bond,” said Hosea.
The boys will get a chance to build on that bond when the Melbourne Risings NRC campaign kicks off in September.