Junior Wallabies switch things up for Tonga

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

 The Junior Wallabies have rung the changes for their second Oceania U20s game, against Tonga.

Australia has made nine changes to its matchday 23 from the side that beat Fiji 51-5, as they look for a second straight win.

Coach Jason Gilmore has reshuffled his pack, with an all-new starting front row and new faces in the locks and backrow.

Captain Ryan Lonergan is still missing, and vice-captain Esei Hangaana will also sit this match out, with halfback Tate McDermott elevated to the captaincy for the clash.

Tate McDermott will captain the Junior Wallabies on Tuesday night. Photo: SportographyPromising lock Harry Hockings comes onto the bench, released from Reds duties, along with last year's Australian Schoolboys captain Will Harrison.

Bayley Kuenzle has been handed the playmaking reins for the matchup, with last Saturday's starter Lawson Creighton out of the 23.

Tonga had a brutal introduction to the competition in their opener, losing to New Zealand 97-0.

Gilmore said they were looking to improve on their Fiji outing for this clash.

“The squad is working hard on preparing for this game and gives us another opportunity as a group," he said.

“We have identified areas of improvement after reviewing the game against Fiji and saw some opportunities for growth and I’m looking forward to seeing the team put this into action tomorrow night.”

The Junior Wallabies take on Tonga on Tuesday May 1, kicking off at 5pm AEST, LIVE on RUGBY.com.au.


IN: Harry Hoopert, Rory Suttor, Josh Kemeny, Bayley Kuenzle, Isiah Latu, Hayden Sargeant, Harry Hockings, Justin Sikimenti, Will Harrison

OUT: Tom Ross, Angus Blyth, Esei Hangaana, Fraser McReight, Patrick Tafa, Lawson Creighton, Len Ikitau, Mack Hansen, Tom Fuller

Junior Wallabies to face Tonga

1. Harry Hoopert, Brothers 

2. Matt Faessler, Brothers 

3. Josh Nasser, University of Queensland 

4. Hugh Margin, Gordon

5. Trevor Hosea, Harlequins 

6. Rory Suttor (vc), Sydney University 

7.  Tom Kibble, GPS 

8. Josh Kemeny, Sydney University 

9. Tate McDermott (c), University of Queensland

10. Bayley Kuenzle, Southern Districts 

11. James Ramm, Randwick 

12. Tony Hunt, Norths (Brisbane) 

13. Isiah Latu, Queanbeyan 

14. Hayden Sargeant, Bond University 

15. Matt McTaggert, Easts


16. George Francis, Eastwood 

17. Efi Ma’afu, Wests

18. Charlie Hancock, Sydney University 

19. Harry Hockings, University of Queensland 

20. Justin Sikimeti, Queanbeyan

21. Phoenix Hunt, Easts  

22. Will Harrison, Randwick 

23. Isaac Lucas, Sunnybank