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Emerging Waratahs star Tuipulotu commits to Australia

By AAP
(Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for Rugby Australia)

Boom youngster Mosese Tuipulotu has emphatically pledged his allegiance to Australia after emerging as a future Wallabies star with some eye-catching pre-season form for the NSW Waratahs.

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Finally injury-free after almost two years out with a torn ACL and then quad issues, Tuipulotu is giving Waratahs coach Darren Coleman food for thought after starring in the centres against the Brumbies and Queensland Reds.

The 22-year-old bagged a nice try in the Tahs’ 33-32 win over the Reds in Narrabri on Saturday before flatly dismissing fears he may follow in the footsteps of older brother Sione, who is tearing it up for Scotland.

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Lost to the Melbourne Rebels three years ago, Sione Tuipulotu has been a stand-out in Scotland’s best-ever start to a Six Nations campaign with big wins over England and Wales.

But Moses, who also has the option of representing Tonga through his father, has no such plans to abandon his country of birth.

“Nah, nah. It’s always been a dream of mine to play for the Wallabies and to wear the gold jersey,” he said on Monday.

“Growing up as a youngster, seeing all those great players. Even here, Michael Hooper. That would be a great goal of mine to become a Wallaby.

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“Our grandma’s Scottish and we’re all really proud of Sione that he’s representing part of our heritage.

“But I’m backing gold. Obviously he’s my brother and that’s my blood and I’m always going to support him but I was born in Australia and I’m always going to support the Wallabies.”

Tuipulotu is presently behind Wallabies pair Lalakai Foketi and Izaia Perese in the Waratahs’ midfield pecking order, but assistant coach Chris Whitaker has huge raps on the versatile centre who is equally at home in the 12 or 13 jumpers.

“The last couple of years he’s had a couple of injuries that have slowed his progress but this year he’s been on the field every day and his progress has just been immense,” Whitaker said.

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“So I’m expecting big things from him probably soon.”

Whitaker said the exciting prospect had a skill set that’s the envy of teammates.

“He’s really good on his feet, a really balanced runner and he used to play halfback when he was young so his passing skills are exceptional. He’s got a good, long pass on him too.

“So it’s just time in the saddle. Last year in Shute Shield he got games back to back and he improved with every game and we’ve seen this year in pre-season he hasn’t missed a beat and he just gets better and better.

“If he keeps doing what he’s doing, I’m sure he’s not too far away (from Waratahs and Wallabies selection). That’s for sure.”

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