NRC: The pathway to Wallaby gold

by staff

A number of last year’s Buildcorp National Rugby Championship stars have built on their strong performances in the inaugural competition to earn positions in the Wallaby train on squad. With Rugby World Cup positions on the line, every player will be looking to put their hand up to represent the Qantas Wallabies in England.

With the full 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship draw released on Friday, we look at some of the NRC’s big performers from the competition's inaugural season who have made Michael Cheika's train-on squad.

Samu Kerevi – Brisbane City

Samu Kerevi was an integral part of Bribane City’s National Rugby Championship title and one of the biggest names to come out of the competition. Right from the opening round his tackle busting runs and offloading skills were too much for opposition teams to handle. Kerevi’s on field efforts for Brisbane City earned him a full contract at the Queensland Reds, and after an impressive break out year for the Reds could potentially make his Wallaby debut in 2015.

Sean McMahon – Melbourne Rising

One of the brightest talents coming up the ranks in Australian Rugby is Sean McMahon. A product of the ARU’s Pathway to Gold Program, Sean was one of the leading players at the World Rugby U20 Championship for Australia. In the Buildcorp NRC his strong performances for the Melbourne Rising assisted the club to become undefeated minor premiers and caught the eye of Qantas Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika earning him a Wallaby Test debut against Wales.

McMahon’s extraordinary work rate helped the Rising to an undefeated regular season and secured him the accolade of Buildcorp NRC Player of the Series as well as U20s player of the Year at the year at the 2014 John Eales Medal. McMahon has continued his on field dominance in 2015, and will be looking to cement a place in the Wallabies for the World Cup later this year.

Paul Alo-Emile – Melbourne Rising

Paul Alo-Emile has emerged as one of Australia’s top scrummagers in Super Rugby. Alo-Emile career with the Melbourne Rising was hindered by injury, however when he was on the field Alo-Emile was a force to be reckoned with. His scrummaging skills are the strongest part of his game, noticed not only in Australia but also overseas. This season will be the last we see of Alo-Emile for a few years as he has signed a three year deal with Stade Francais starting after the World Cup. Under ARU eligibility rules he is still available to represent Australia in 2015

Greg Holmes – Queensland Country

Greg Holmes was appointed Vice-Captain of Queensland Country for the inaugural Buildcorp NRC and didn’t look back. The former Wallaby front rower was a shining light for his side that only managed two wins in the tournament. After earning 13 Test caps for the Wallabies from 2005-2010 Holmes has been striving to get back into the selection frame. His NRC season last year allowed the perfect platform, leading from the front with his aggression and mobility. Holmes strong season with Queensland Country flowed into his Super Rugby performances for the Reds pushing himself back into Wallaby contention for the upcoming Rugby Championship.

For all the latest on the 2015 Buildcorp National Rugby Championship, click here