Gilmore to coach new-look Junior Wallabies

World Rugby U20s Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Queensland development coach Jason Gilmore has been unveiled as the Junior Wallabies coach, amid a rejig of the program for 2018

Formerly the Australia U20s, the side has been re-named the Junior Wallabies, and will begin their preparation for the World Cup this month, a move away from the time restrictions the side has struggled with in the past.

Gilmore comes into the setup, replacing Simon Cron who has moved to a contact coach role with NSW, after stints as Queensland U20s coach and in Queensland Premier Rugby and the NRC with Queensland Country.

Rugby Australia head of high performance Ben Whitaker said Gilmore would bring his rugby intelligence

Simon Cron will coach the U20s in 2017. Photo: ARU Media/Karen Watson“We’re really excited to have Jason take over the reins of the Junior Wallabies," he said.

“He has a really smart rugby brain and a real passion for developing young players and this role will also enhance his abilities as an Australian coach coming through the pathway.

“Jason has been a key part of Rugby Australia’s and the Queensland Reds’ coaching programs and he comes into this role really energized for what is a big year for the Junior Wallabies program.

“There are plenty of talented young players in this initial national squad and we’re looking forward to seeing them come together over the next few months.”

Gilmore has named an initial squad of 53 players, who will come together in a Canberra camp this week.

Jason Gilmore is excited about taking over the Junior Wallabies. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel“I’m really honoured to be taking over the role of the Junior Wallabies head coach and I am looking forward to getting into training with the lads and my coaching staff this week," he said.

“The U20s is an integral part of the 'Pathway to Gold' and in building talented players for Super Rugby, Aussie Sevens and for the Wallabies.

“We will work extremely hard to build a squad that has high performance success at the Oceania Rugby U20s and World Rugby U20s Championship and our work starts now to build a group of men capable of delivering."

This week's camp will be the first of four ahead of the 2018 Oceania Championships, in April, where Australia takes on New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji.

Overnight, France was announced as the World U20s host for the 2018 World Championship, kicking off on May 30, with Australia drawn in a tricky pool, alongside New Zealand, Japan and Wales.

The tournament will be held in the cities of Béziers, Perpignan and Narbonne, the announcement coming less than a month after France’s shock win of the 2023 Rugby World Cup bid.


Junior Wallabies extended squad


Angus Blyth, QLD

Darcy Breen, NSW

Nick Brown, NSW

Will Dearden, QLD

Sean Farrell, QLD

George Francis, NSW

Lloyd Gorman, QLD

Ben Grant, NSW

Esei Ha'angana, VIC

Charlie  Hancock, ACT

Harry Hockings, QLD

Harry Hoopert, QLD

Trevor Hosea, VIC

Josh Kemeny, NSW

Tom Kibble, QLD

Efi Ma'afu, QLD

Sama Malolo, NSW

Hugh Margin, NSW

Fraser McReight, QLD

Tipane  Mavoa  QLD

Josh Nasser, QLD

Dylan Pietsch, AUST 7S

Tom Ross, ACT

Justin Sikimeti, ACT

Rory Sutor, NSW

Lawrence Tominiko, QLD

Rob Valetini, ACT

Pat Tafa, NSW


Ben Donaldson, NSW

Will Eadie, QLD

Tom Fuller, NSW

Harrison Goddard, VIC

Mack Hansen, ACT

Cooper Harris, NSW

Will Harrison, NSW

Tony Hunt, QLD

Len Ikitau, ACT

Yirribi Jaffer-Williams, NSW

Bayley Kuenzle, NSW

Isiah Latu, ACT

Ryan Lonergan, ACT

Isaac Lucas, QLD

Tate McDermott, QLD  

Matt McTaggart, NSW  

Jackson Mohi, NSW

Jordan Morris, NSW

Luke Osborne, NSW

Jordan Petaia, QLD

James Ramm, NSW

Hamish Stewart, QLD

Will Terry, NSW

Semisi Tupou, VIC

Nick Wilkinson, NSW


2018 U20s World Championship 

Pool A

New Zealand, Australia, Wales and Japan

Pool B

England, Scotland, Italy and Argentina

Pool C

South Africa, France, Ireland and Georgia