The Aussie 23 under 23

Aussie U20s celebrating a win against NZ in the 2016 Oceania Under 20s Championship Photo Source: HJ Nelson
The depth in Australian rugby appears to be on the up. Something that can only be a positive when looking towards the future and the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

With the advent of the National Rugby Championship (NRC) and Super Under 20s Championship (SUC?), the hard work of the rugby board formally known as the ARU’s is starting to pay dividends…. and yes, I did say hard work.

Since their inception in 2014, the skill levels have been improving throughout both competitions. We are starting to have more depth in positions we have recently lacked in and with the same amount of professional contracts available, the challenge moving forward is keeping them in Australia.

With the future in mind, I thought I’d compile a squad of some future stars. Each of these players in this squad must A- qualify for Australia and B- be 23 years old or under.

Throughout Rugby World Cup history, the average age of winning sides is roughly 27-28. That means looking towards the 2023 RWC, the bulk of our squad would currently be under the age of 23.

Wallabies 23 U23s for 2023….

Jordan Uelese

1- Allan Alaalatoa – 23 (Canberra Vikings, ACT Brumbies, Wallabies)
2- Jordan Uelese – 20 (Melbourne Rising, Melbourne Rebels, Wallabies)
3- Taniela “The Tongan Thor” Tupou – 21 (Queensland Country, Queensland Reds)
4- Matt Philip – 23 (Perth Spirit, Western Force)
5- Lukhan Tui – 21 (Queensland Country, Queensland Reds, Wallabies)
6- Jack Dempsey – 23 (Sydney Rays, NSW Waratahs, Wallabies)
7- Sean McMahon – 23 (Melbourne Rising, Melbourne Rebels, Wallabies)
8- Rob Valetini – 19 (Canberra Vikings, ACT Brumbies)

Duncan Paia’aua
9- Joe Powell – 23 (Canberra Vikings, ACT Brumbies, Wallabies)
 10- Mack Mason – 21 (Greater Sydney Rams, NSW Waratahs, Wallabies)
11- Reece Hodge – 23 (Melbourne Rising, Melbourne Rebels, Wallabies)
12- Duncan Paia’aua -22 (Queensland Country, Queensland Reds)
13- Chris Feauai-Sautia – 23 (Queensland Country, Queensland Reds, Wallabies)
14- Izaia Perese – 20 (Queensland Country, Queensland Reds)
15- Tom Banks – 23 (Canberra Vikings, ACT Brumbies)


16- Folau Fainga’a – 22 (Canberra Vikings, ACT Brumbies)
17- Schembekler Vui – 20 (Perth Spirit, Western Force)
18- Jermaine Ainsley – 22 (Perth Spirit, ACT Brumbies)
19- Izack Rodda – 21 (Queensland Country, Queensland Reds)
20- Isi Naisarani* – 22 (Perth Spirit, ACT Brumbies)
21- James Tuttle – 21 (Queensland Country, Queensland Reds)
22- Hamish Stewart – 19 (Queensland Country, Queensland Reds)
23- Jack Maddocks – 20 (Melbourne Rising, Melbourne Rebels)

Some of the players unlucky to not make the cut: Tom Robertson, Ned Hanigan, Richard Hardwick, Liam Wright, Adam Korczyk, Lolo Fakaosilea, Irae Simone, David Horwitz, Campbell Magney, Chance Peni, Alex Newsome, James Verity-Amm, Andrew Kellaway & Jonah Placid

*Qualifies in 2018

Written by Nelson Dale

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