NRC: U20s unleash monster centres

Brenden Hertell
by Brendan Hertel

Campbell Magnay and Nick Jooste both set the NRC alight a 17-year-olds and on Wednesday morning ,they'll pair up in the centres for the Australia U20s against Scotland.

Queensland Reds’ Magnay and the Brumbies’ Jooste are two of the brightest young prospects in Australian Rugby, and will be critical to Australia's successes at the tournament.

Magnay was the first to come on to the scene, in 2014, making his debut for Queensland Country off the bench in their first match against NSW Country. Jooste followed a year later, representing Perth Spirit during the 2015 NRC season.

Though they're young, neither lacks in size, with both over 190 centimetres tall, with Jooste weighing in at 96kgs and Magnay at 101 kgs making them one of the biggest centres pairings to grace the green and gold for Australia at U20s level.Campbell Magnay NRC

“They’ll be good, they’re contrasting footballers but complement each other nicely,” said backs coach Tim Rapp.

“Jooste at 12 has the ability to be a ball player as well as carry, but Campbell at 13 runs some brilliant lines.”

The 2016 World U20s Championship with be Magnay’s second tournament with the Australia U20s, having played in 2015, but for Jooste this is his first taste.

“It’s been awesome, we’ve had some big days of training but it has been really good being around the team environment and bonding with the other players while still ripping in and preparing for the coming games,” Jooste said.

“There are some new combinations in our backline but we have been training well and I’m feeling confident heading into the game. Hopefully we can get some good go forward and exploit the Scottish defensive systems.”

Nick Jooste was a standout at Schoolboys and NRC level. Photo: ARU MediaWhile only one year in age separates the duo, Jooste appreciates having the added experience of Magnay, capped at Super Rugby level for the Reds, outside of him.

“It’s great having Campbell outside me, he has Super Rugby experience so it’s handy to have that knowledge as well as a physical body outside of you.”

While still only on the cusp of his professional career, Magnay is settling into his role as one of the older heads in the group on this year's U20s tour.

“I’m feeling a bit more comfortable this year. I’m used to being one of the youngest in the squad where as here I am one of the oldest so I’m taking on more of a leadership role,”he said.

With the pair lining up outside of the established Queensland combination of James Tuttle at halfback and Mack Mason at flyhalf, as well as Maclean Jones at Number 8, both Jooste and Magnay could leave a trail of destruction through the Scottish midfield in Tuesday’s opening encounter

The Australia U20s will play Scotland at 2:30am AEST Wednesday, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

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