Junior Wallabies confirm 2023 train-on squad

Fri, Nov 18, 2022, 6:00 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson

The Junior Wallabies have confirmed a 48-player wider train-on squad as they start preparations for the return of the World Rugby U20 Championship.

It comes following the conclusion of the U19 Rugby Championships, with the NSW Waratahs claiming the title after edging out the Queensland Reds at Pittwater Park.

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The squad is dominated by both clubs, with the Reds most represented with 14 selections, headlined by returning Junior Wallabies trio Taj Annan, Floyd Aubrey and Nick Baker.

Meanwhile, the Waratahs have 12 inclusions in the squad, including Player of the Final Jack Bowen and Australia A scrumhalf Teddy Wilson.

“Players have been selected on their form throughout the championships and identified potential within the rugby Australia pathway," Rugby Australia's High-Performance National Programs Coach Nathan Grey said in a statement.

 “It was a very difficult process narrowing down the final squad selections. All teams throughout the championship’s played some quality rugby with a real attacking focus with plenty of ball movement and some excellent tight forward play, showcasing their skills."

Sevens star Darby Lancaster has also been included, joined by Rebels lock Daniel Maiava and Force backrower Ned Slack-Smith, who captained the Junior Wallabies against Argentina in June.

The squad will convene in February next year, with further camps to be held throughout the year ahead of the returning World U20 Championship.

It will be the first time since 2019 the tournament will be held, where a squad including the likes of Angus Bell, Harry Wilson, Fraser McReight, Noah Lolesio and Mark Nawaqanitawase made the final, narrowly going down to France 24-23.

“The World Rugby U20 Championship is a hugely important development focus for all Rugby nations around the world - for us, it provides future Wallabies with an opportunity to develop their skills and gain the experience of playing at an elite international level," Grey added.

"Having not had the championship for 3 years, it's incredible to see the clear progression from the 2019 Junior Wallabies into the current Wallabies squad and I can't wait to see which of these talented players makes a similar leap." 

2023 U20 Junior Wallabies Train-on Squad 

Reds

Floyd Aubrey (GPS)

Charlie Wigan (UQ)

Dylan Loader (Bond University)

Harrison Usher (Bond University)

Harry McLaughlin-Phillips (Souths Rugby Club)

John Bryant (Souths Rugby Club)

Lachlan Shaw (UQ)

Max Craig (Easts Rugby Club)

Nick Baker (GPS)

Nick Bloomfield (Easts Rugby Club)

Sam Farrar (Easts Rugby Club)

Taj Annan (Easts Rugby Club)

Tim Ryan (Brothers)

Willem Johnstone (Souths Rugby Club)

Brumbies

Austin Anderson (Wests)

Massimo De Lutis (Wests)

Henry Palmer (Tuggeranong)

Klayton Thorn (Gungahlin)

Liam Bowron (Royals)

Lachlan Hooper (Tuggeranong)

Force

Marley Pearce (Wests Scarborough)

Jhy Legg (Wests Scarborough)

Ned Slack-Smith (Palmyra)

Dane Sawers (Kalamunda)

Ryan McGloin (Joondalup Brothers)

Waratahs

Jamie Clark (Sydney Uni)

Oscar Hicks (Sydney Uni)

Clem Haloholo (Sydney Uni)

Teddy Wilson (Eastern Suburbs)

Max Jorgensen (TBC)

Tom Morrison (Sydney Uni)

Jaydon Viliamu (Randwick)

Jack Bowen (Eastern Suburbs)

Archie Saunders (Warringah)

Henry O'Donnell (Sydney Uni)

Charlie Worthington (Randwick)

Jackson Ropata (Southern Districts)

Darby Lancaster (Eastern Suburbs)

Rebels

Patrick Levamai (Melbourne Harlequins/Wests Bulldogs)

Max Johnson (Wests Bulldogs)

Daniel Maeva (Wyndham Rhinos/Wests Bulldogs)

Antonio Masina (Melbourne Unicorns/UQ)

Leafi Talataina (Endeavour Hills)

Mason Gordon (Wests Bulldogs)

David Vaihu (Wests Bulldogs)

Lebron Naea (Endeavour Hills/Wests Bulldogs)

Divad Palu (Wyndham Rhinos)

Zac Hough (Wests Bulldogs)

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