Highlanders snatch Aussie rising star

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Tyrel Lomax is officially more likely to become an All Black than a Wallaby, signing with the Highlanders for two years.

Lomax was well and truly on Michael Cheika’s radar, included in the Wallabies’ Canberra camp in April, amid an impressive Super Rugby season.

The 21-year-old was a standout in last year’s World U20s Championships, named the Australian U20s player of the year, before signing with the Rebels.

His promise has clearly been noticed across the ditch, with the Otago franchise locking Lomax in from 2019, with the prop still contracted to the Rebels for 2018.

Lomax said the opportunity to play for a Kiwi Super Rugby team, who have dominated all and sundry in the past two seasons, was impossible to ignore.

“I grew up in NZ and as an aspiring rugby player the chance to play for a NZ Super Rugby club was too good an opportunity to turn down,” he said.

“As a young prop I can’t wait to get to the Highlanders, they have an awesome culture there and I just want to immerse myself in it and learn as much as possible.”

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said Lomax had impressed him in their negotiations.

“Throughout our dealings with Tyrel he has shown himself to be a mature young man with a real determination to learn and improve, he has a real desire to go as far as he can in the game,” he said.

“He will fit in well at the Highlanders and we would like to think this is just the start for Tyrel, we believe he has a very bright future in front of him”.

Born in New Zealand, Lomax would be immediately eligible to play for New Zealand despite his U20s stint.