Australian Schools and U18 squad named for New Zealand tour

Schoolboys
by Emma Greenwood

Australian Schools and U18 head coach Peter Hewat has named a 27-man squad to tour New Zealand over the next fortnight.

The side is scheduled to take on the Fijian Schools as well as the New Zealand Schools Barbarians culminating in a final clash against the New Zealand Schoolboys in Hamilton.

The squad has been selected following the 2019 Academy Series, which finished in Brisbane over the weekend, as well as the conclusion of the schoolboy rugby calendar, with all the players involved in Rugby Australia’s national talent model across a number of programs.

Players from all five academy teams - linked to the Queensland Reds, NSW Waratahs, Melbourne Rebels, ACT Brumbies and Western Force - have been named in the squad.

Schoolboy star Reesjan Pasitoa will play for Nudgee in a curtain-raiser to the Wallabies-Argentina Test at Suncorp Stadium. Photo: Getty Images

Academy teams have played a series of matches over the past several months to determine the best players to represent Australia at the U18 level, with the side now known as the Australian schools and U18 team.

Rugby Australia's national head of talent management Adrian Thompson explained the new process earlier this year, saying focusing on a series of academy matches instead of a five-day carnival where selection was the sole aim, would give the greatest number of players the greatest chance to impress over time, with consistency rewarded.

Hewat said it had been great to watch the country's best young talent battle it out over the past few months.

“The coaching staff have watched countless academy and schoolboy rugby matches, and we have been impressed with the depth that is on offer," Hewat said.

Peter Hewat will take over the Schools and U18s reins. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley

"It didn’t make selections easy, but that is a good problem to have.

“The challenge now lies in bringing the players together as a group before we head across to play three solid sides.

“However, I have full confidence that this group will rise to the occasion and we are all excited to get into camp.”

The sides final two matches against the New Zealand Schools Barbarians and New Zealand schoolboys are set to be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

2019 Australian Schools & 18’s Fixtures:

Australia v Fiji Schools, Hilcrest High School, Hamilton, Thursday 26 September at 12:30pm AEST

Australia v New Zealand Barbarian Schools, Hamilton Boys High School, Hamilton, Monday 30 September at 10:05am AEST

Australia v New Zealand Schools, St Pauls Collegiate, Hamilton, Friday 4 October at 1:05pm AEST

SQUAD

Lachlan Albert, St Ignatius' College, Brumbies Academy

Anthony Alofipo, Erindale College, Brumbies Academy

George Blake, The Southport School, Reds Academy

Hugh Bokenham, St Joseph's College Hunters Hill, Waratahs Academy

Daniel Botha, The Scots College, Waratahs Academy

Joe Brial, The Scots College, Waratahs Academy

John Connolly, The King's School, NSW Waratahs

Joshua Flook, Brothers Rugby Club, Reds Academy

George Gibson, Brisbane Boys College, Reds Academy

Carter Gordon, Wests Rugby Club, Queensland Reds

Malachi Hawkes, Trinity College, Waratahs Academy

Thomas Hooper, Tuggeranong Vikings, Brumbies Academy

Tolutau Koula, Newington College, Waratahs Academy

Alexander Masibaka, Aranmore College, Rugby WA Academy

Hamish Moore, The Scots College, Waratahs Academy

Zane Nonggorr, The Southport School, Reds Academy

Reesjan Pasitoa, St Joseph's College Nudgee, Brumbies

Billy Pollard, Barker College, Waratahs Academy

William Roach, UQ Rugby Club, Reds Academy

Dion Samuela, The Southport School, Reds Academy

Joseph -Aukuso Suaalii, The King's School, Waratahs Academy

Keynan Tauakipulu, St Peter's College, Reds Academy

Kalani Thomas, Ipswich Grammar School, Reds Academy

Zephania Tuinona, Queanbeyan Whites, Brumbies Academy

Mosese Tuipulotu, St Kevin's College, Rebels Academy

Glen Vaihu, St Joseph's College Gregory Terrace, Reds Academy

Harrison Vella, St Joseph's College Nudgee, Reds Academy