Who are the Junior Wallabies? The backgrounds, bios and contract status of every young Aussie star

Super Rugby
by RUGBY.com.au staff

The Junior Wallabies will take on France in the Under 20 World Championship on Sunday morning after beating Argentina in the semi-final.

The Jason Gilmore-coached team has beaten heavyweights New Zealand and Ireland as well this year.

But who are the Junior Wallabies players?

Here we break down their histories and spell out where their careers are being built. 

Below is the team selected to meet New Zealand on Saturday night, along with several others who missed the game with injury.

JUNIOR WALLABIES

1. Angus Bell, 19, University of Sydney

Son of former Wallabies hooker and Queensland Reds forwards coach Mark Bell. Captained the Australian Schools & U18s in 2018 and Bell’s standout performances in their northern hemisphere tour earned him a contract as a development player with the NSW Waratahs. Turned down rugby league to stay in rugby.


2. Lachlan Lonergan, 19, Tuggeranong Vikings

Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Brumbies halfback Ryan Lonergan. Played Aussie schoolboys in 2016-17, and has spent three years with the ACT Schoolboys and Brumbies Academy. Won the the Australian Schoolboys Bronze Boot award in 2017. 


3. Josh Nasser, 20, University of Queensland

Son of Wallaby great Brendan Nasser, Josh is no stranger to the front row of a scrum. Played in the NRC for Brisbane  City in 2018 and was with the Junior Wallabies in their 2018 Oceania and World Championship campaign. On contract with the Queensland Reds development squad.

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4. Michael Wood, 20, Brothers

A product of Queensland’s representative pathway. Played for the Junior Wallabies in 2018 in their Oceania and World Championship campaigns and also played for Queensland Country in the NRC in 2018. Currently on contract with Queensland Reds development squad.

5. Trevor Hosea, 19, Harlequins Rugby Club

A 204cm giant who is a full-time squad member of the Melbourne Rebels. Played for the Melbourne Rising in the NRC last year and also starred for the Junior Wallabies in their 2018 campaign. A huge young man with as big a future.

6. Harry Wilson, 19, Brothers

A member of the Australian Schoolboys side in 2016 and 2017, Wilson was a rising star of the Queensland Country NRC side in 2018. Currently on a two-year contract with Queensland’s full-time main squad and is tipped to play Super Rugby imminently.

7. Fraser McReight (c), 20, Brothers

Fraser McReight has been a star of the future for many years, after playing for Aussie schools in 2016 and the Junior Wallabies for 2017, 2018 and 2019. Injury denied him an NRC debut for Queensland Country in 2017 but he switched to Brisbane City and played NRC in 2018. McReight duly won a full-time contract with the Queensland Reds. McReight made his Super Rugby debut this year against the Brumbies, and the favourite son of Brothers was chosen to lead the Junior Wallabies to the Under 20s World Championship.

8. Will Harris, 19, Eastern Suburbs

Hailing from Townsville in far North Queensland, towering backrower Will Harris now calls Sydney home. He was a standout for the Australian Schools and under 18s tour last year, and was chased by the Melbourne Storm before electing to sign on with the Waratahs. A star of the future who played trials for the Waratahs and praises Michael Hooper as a mentor.

9. Michael McDonald, 19, Palmyra

A proud member of RugbyWA’s Future Force Academy, powerful scrumhalf McDonald has only called Australia home since 2013, having moved to WA from his home of Carlingford in Ireland. Coming from a large family of all boys with two sets of twins, Michael’s competitive edge runs high. Contracted to the Force.

10. Ben Donaldson, 20, Randwick

Former Aussie schoolboy playmaker now on a development contract with the Waratahs. Played NRC for the Sydney Rays last year.


 

11. Mark Nawaqanitawase, 18, Eastwood

 


Burwood-born Nawaqanitawase has joined the Junior Wallabies quite late in the fold, with his Fijian father encouraging him into rugby. Mark linked up with the NSW Gen Blue program in 2019 and has since rapidly climbed the rungs. 

12. Noah Lolesio, 19, Tuggeranong Vikings

Went to Canberra after finishing school on the Gold Coast and strong club form saw him win a development contract with the Brumbies. The 2017 Aussie schoolboy also played NRC for the Vikings in 2018.

Lolesio recently got a contract extension and upgrade into the Brumbies full-time squad and is one of the front runners to replace Christian Lealiifano at no.10.

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13. Semisi Tupou, 19, Box Hill

Another outstanding Super Rugby-capped player who is in his third year as a Junior Wallaby. An electric outside back Tupou debuted for the Rebels in 2017 against the Jaguares and has won six caps for Melbourne since. On a full-time contract with the Rebels.

14. Sione Tui, 19, Melbourne Unicorns

A flying winger is a product of the Rugby pathway in Victoria. Represented Melbourne in the Junior Gold Cup program, Victorian Schoolboys and Academy programs. In the Rebels academy.

15. Isaac Lucas, 20, Sunnybank


The youngest of the prolific Lucas family, Isaac is a star of the future who has already arrived. Played for the Junior Wallabies in 2018, and was in the Brisbane City NRC squad too. A star performance leading Queensland to victory in the under 19s championship late in 2018 lit the for Lucas' rocket-fuelled rise in 2019. Lucas debuted for the Queensland Reds this year, and with great effect. He became a regular starter for the Reds under new Rugby Australia rules to ensure the strength of the Junior Wallabies, Lucas was diverted from Super Rugby to the Oceania Championships. Currently only a development contract with Reds but sure to change soon.

Reserves

16. Bo Abra, Eastern Suburbs

A bullocking front rower who played his schoolboy rugby in Bathurst and emerged through the Waratahs under 19s program. Currently on a development contract with NSW.

17. Joe Cotton, 20, Wests Bulldogs

Hailing from Bristol in the United Kingdom, Cotton calls Brisbane home as he commences his rugby journey. A member of the victorious Brisbane City U19 Rugby Championship. In the Reds academy.

18. Darcy Breen, 20 Sydney University

Soccer convert Breen commenced his Rugby career at the age of ten, following in the footsteps of his school peers. It was here that Breen excelled a member of the Australian Schoolboys side in 2017, Breen joined the Waratahs Gen Blue academy in 2018 where he now remains as a contracted development player with the NSW Waratahs. 

19. Rhys Van Nek, 19, Easts Brisbane

A stoutly built prop who can also play hooker, Van Nek is on a Reds academy contract and was called up for the Junior World Championships after missing the Oceania tournament in May.

20. Esei Ha’angana, 20, Melbourne Unicorns

A giant 120kg lock who came off the bench against the Lions at AAMI Park to become the Melbourne Rebels' youngest ever Super Rugby debutant at 18 years and 15 days. A returning member of the Junior Wallabies 2018 campaign. Debuted in the NRC in 2017. On a full-time contract with the Rebels.

21. Carlo Tizzano, 18, University of Western Australia

A fiery flanker from WA who starred on the Australian Schools and under 18s tour of Ireland and Scotland last year. Played senior club footy and for the Force last year, and played in the Rapid Rugby series this year. Was a late call-up to the Junior Wallabies due to injury but won a place in the team with outstanding form. Contracted with the Western Force.

22. Nick Frost, 19, Queanbeyan

An Aussie schoolboy star in 2017 who caused shockwaves by choosing to sign with the Crusaders academy in New Zealand. Returned this year and signed with the Brumbies full-time squad. 


23. Henry Robertson, 19, Sydney University

Hails from Scone, plays halfback for Sydney University and has been a member of the NSW Waratahs Generation Blue program for the past two years. 

27. Kye Oates, 19, University of Queensland

Hailing from Toowoomba in the Darling Downs region of Queensland. Was the national indigenous Captain in 2016 and member of a highly successful Australian Barbarians side at the inaugural U19 Rugby Championship in 2018. A member of the Reds academy.

28. Joey Walton, 19, Gordon

Hailing from Warnervale in NSW, Walton earned his first development contract with the NSW Waratahs following an impressive performance during the Australian Schools & U18s tour of Ireland and the UK. A quick paced centre.


OTHERS

Triston Reilly, 20, Randwick

A former development player with the Newcastle Knights, Reilly linked up with the Australian 7s Program in 2018, where he has excelled. Debuting in Hong Kong in 2018, AU7s player #381, Reilly then went on to score a hat-trick during his follow up tournament at Twickenham in London in the same year. 

Pat Tafa, 19, Northern Suburbs

Hailing from Logan in Queensland, Tafa is a giant forward in his second campaign with the Junior Wallabies. Now on a full-time ontract with the Waratahs.

Will Harrison, 19, Randwick

A member of the Australian Schools Barbarians in 2016 and then Australian Schoolboys side in 2017. Attended the same Sydney school as Michael Cheika but is another to have ignored rugby league offers; he signed a three-year deal with the Waratahs in 2018 and played Super Rugby trials in 2019. Played NRC for Sydney in 2018 and also for the Junior Wallabies. A skilled left-foot kicker, Harrison relished tutoring from Stephen Larkham in the current Junior Wallabies campaign. On a Waratahs development contract.

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The Junior Wallabies play France in the final of the World Under 20s Championship on Sunday, 2am. LIVE coverage on FoxSports.