Rookie sensation Jordan Petaia has been called into Michael Cheika’s train-on squad for the 2018 Spring Tour after a memorable National Rugby Championship (NRC) campaign for Queensland Country.
The 18 year-old would become the third youngest player to ever debut for the Wallabies, should he make an appearance in the November internationals against either Wales or Italy.
It caps a remarkable rise for Petaia who starred for the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby last season, after only making his debut in round eight against the Brumbies.
Petaia is joined by fellow rising star Rob Valetini, who will join the squad as a Development Player.
Valetini has overcome an injury interrupted season for the Brumbies to dominate for the Canberra Vikings in the NRC and will earn vital experience in Europe ahead of 2019.
A few are quick to condemn @AdamCoopy selection in the @qantaswallabies!— Drew Mitchell (@drew_mitchell) October 29, 2018
We all talk about the spring tour being a chance to see if a young guy is up to it, why can it not be used to see if a 116 test cap player is still up to it?
Judge him on his performance not his age..
Veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper has also earned a squad call-up for the first time since 2016, after injuries ruled out key outside backs Reece Hodge (ankle) and Tevita Kuridrani (pectoral).
Ashley-Cooper won’t have to travel far with the 34-year old currently based in Japan for Kobe Steelers in the Top League, and he’ll be keen to prove to Michael Cheika this week that he’s ready to join George Gregan as the only Australian to play in four Rugby World Cups, if selected next year.
Matt Toomua will also join the squad in Odawara, Japan for a week-long intensive training camp at the base the Wallabies will use ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The train-on squad will be revised before departing for Wales on Saturday for the first Test of the tour.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said: “Jordan (Petaia) has just got a lot of good touches. He’s a good lad, he wants to succeed, he wants to do the work, he’s eager.
“Having him here with us on these next few weeks will give him an idea of what’s required at the level and give him a chance to make a play for the World Cup squad.
“Adam (Ashley-Cooper) will train with us, we’ll see where he’s at. He’s come on the tour with us to be available for selection, he’s not coming for a holiday.”
“His experience is important and also just his versatility, his ability to cover a few positions. With him and then a guy like Jordan, it’s probably a good balance. We need a couple of extra backs here on the trip,” Cheika said.
2018 Spring Tour
Wales v Wallabies at Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Sunday 11 November at 21.05 UAE time
Italy v Wallabies at Stadio Euganeo, Padua, Sunday 18 November at 17.45 UAE time
England v Wallabies at Twickenham Stadium, London, Sunday 25 November at 18.45 UAE time
Qantas Wallabies train-on squad ahead of 2018 Spring Tour
(Test caps, Vodafone Super Rugby side and age)
Jermaine Ainsley (1 Test, Melbourne Rebels, 23)
Allan Alaalatoa (30 Tests, Brumbies, 24)
Rory Arnold (19 Tests , Brumbies, 28)
Adam Coleman (28 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
Jack Dempsey (7 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 24)
Folau Fainga’a (6 Tests, Brumbies, 23)
Ned Hanigan (18 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 23)
Jed Holloway (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 25)
Michael Hooper (c) (88 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 26)
Sekope Kepu (100 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 32)
Tolu Latu (10 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 25)
Brandon Paenga-Amosa (4 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
David Pocock (75 Tests, Brumbies, 30)
Izack Rodda (14 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
Rob Simmons (91 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Pete Samu (7 Tests, Brumbies, 26)
Scott Sio (52 Tests, Brumbies, 27)
Taniela Tupou (9 Tests, Queensland Reds, 22)
Adam Ashley-Cooper (116, Kobe Steelers, 34)
Tom Banks (3 Tests, Brumbies, 24)
Kurtley Beale (81 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Israel Folau (70 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Bernard Foley (65 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Will Genia (97 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 30)
Jake Gordon (uncapped, NSW Waratahs, 25)
Dane Haylett-Petty (28 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 29)
Samu Kerevi (22 Tests, Queensland Reds, 25)
Marika Koroibete (18 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
Jack Maddocks (5 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 21)
Sefa Naivalu (8 Tests, Melbourne Rebels, 26)
Jordan Petaia (uncapped, Queensladn Reds, 18)
Nick Phipps (70 Tests, NSW Waratahs, 29)
Matt Toomua (39, Leicester Tigers/Melbourne Rebels, 28)
Rob Valetini (uncapped, Brumbies, 20)
Know more about Sport360 Application