Andrew Kellaway might be a fully-fledged Waratah but he was keeping an eye on the Australian U20s as they beat New Zealand this week.
The 2015 U20s captain said he had plenty to thank the U20s program for and something he still felt connected to.
“You always keep an eye on those things once you’ve been there and seeing them beat New Zealand is awesome, seeing anyone beat New Zealand’s awesome,” he said.
“For my development it was huge.
“Playing on an international stage anywhere is a big step up from anything we had to do here so the 20s was a huge development process for me and to see them beat New Zealand is awesome.”
Kellaway said the chance to play against other Test countries before cracking Super Rugby was pivotal in his progress.
“For sure. It’s no secret that heaps of countries have their own little generic things going in the way they play so to be exposed to that the earlier the better,” he said.
“That’s really helped I think.”
His influences at the Waratahs aren’t too bad either, with Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau as his mentors.
Beale provides plenty of support for Kellaway in defence, though the fledgling fullback is developing nicely in that area if his try-saving tackle against the Cheetahs is anything to go by.
“Kurtley in particular been awesome, just really guiding me through the process,” he said.
“He was there (at fullback) as we all know so it’s been a great experience for me and something I’ve really enjoyed.”
Kellaway said he was benefitting from consistent selection in the backline, an area that has been very stable for the Waratahs in recent weeks.
“That’s a really big point for us, having that consistency and being able to work some combinations and have Kurtley and Izzy really set themselves around the midfield and obviously Kurtley and myself at the back there to get some stuff happening.
“We can really adapt to the way each other play so it’s been good for us.”