No second-year blues for Junior Wallabies

World Rugby U20s Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

It’s been a big six months for emerging lock Harry Hockings, one of the top prospects in the Junior Wallabies quad.

Hockings is among the next generation of Queensland second rowers and his form was rewarded this year with a full-time Super Rugby contract and even a Test training cameo on the Gold Coast.

In Canberra this week for the initial junior camp, in a rejigged structure for 2018, Hockings said he was looking forward to fresh competition for spots.

“It's pretty exciting, just started preseason on Monday, it’s a big step up but it should have a pretty positive effect,” he said.

Brumbies squad halfback Ryan Lonergan is another second-year player looking to make an impact in the 2018 squad.

Ryan Lonergan was influential for the Vikings. Photo: Getty ImagesLonergan missed out in 2017, after a head knock curtailed his chances to make an impression in the Oceania Rugby Championships.

This time around, though, Lonergan is raring to go, as the new junior cycle begins.

“I’ve been looking forward to it for a while,” he said.

“I was a bit disappointed but it’s made me more eager to rip in this year.”

Lonergan said a new monster 53-man squad only proved to show off some depth.

“I reckon it does.

“It gets a lot of people involved and makes people feel involved and challenges everyone else.

“There's a lot of competition for spots, the depth's really good.”

The junior Wallabies are in camp in Canberra until Saturday December 10, the first of four heading into April’s Oceania U20s Championships.