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Getting to know: Junior Wallabies U20s captain Teddy Wilson

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Liam Heagney)

The Junior Wallabies got bogged down by Ireland and the dreadful weather conditions in Paarl last Thursday, but skipper Teddy Wilson at least came away from the rain-battered venue up the road from Cape Town with his head held high for the calibre of his own individual performance.

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He was pivotal in helping his team secure a 10-3 lead before they were reeled in and surpassed by Ireland to lose 10-30, an effort that the No9 received kudos from head coach Nathan Grey.

The muddy U20s World Cup match took place with Wilson being watched by his dad David, the 1999 Rugby World Cup winner with the Wallabies, who had arrived in South Africa last Tuesday to see Teddy, the Waratahs Super Rugby Pacific squad player, take an interesting step forward in his international career.

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RugbyPass met Teddy at the Junior Wallabies team hotel in Cape Town for a quickfire Q&A. Included in his answers is his modest claim that he needs to work on his pass. He also names the All Blacks player he idolised growing up,  and the Frenchman he would love to one day meet:

THE BASICS
Born: February 25, 2003;
Joined Australia age-grade: This is my third year in the squad, so 2021 was my first year in the U20s;
Club: NSW Waratahs;
Position: Scrum-half;
Boots: Asics Menace;
Gumshield: I don’t actually wear one. Not at the moment. Lost mine a couple of weeks ago.
Headgear: Don’t wear one;
School: The King’s School, Paramatta.

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RATE YOURSELF (out of 100)
Passing: Geez, lot of work to do. Say 60 or 70;
Pace: 70 as well;
Tackling: I like my tackling, I’d say 75.

THE PAST
My favourite Australia player of all time isQuade Cooper or Will Genia.

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Favourite try I have ever scored is… Playing for my club Eastern Suburbs back home. One of those would be my best, against Gordon actually. Tough game, came down to the wire and I scored in front of our home crowd on the hill which was a good try.

A rugby memory that makes me smile is… Winning my school comp three years ago in 2020. Playing with my mates at school and winning that comp was special.

One piece of advice I would give to my younger self is… In terms of rugby, just practice the basics a lot more. A very influential part of the game is your catch-pass, your kicking, so doing all those basic core skills a lot more at a young age helps you a lot today.

My best subject in school was… It would have been timber, woodwork.

The first player who made me fall in love with rugby isTJ Perenara from the All Blacks. He was my idol when I was growing up.

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Growing up, my position was… Half-back.

The coach who has most impacted my game is… I’d say my dad. He has coached me a lot. He used to play rugby and has always been there for me, giving me advice after games and stuff.

THE PRESENT
My favourite rising rugby player is… Max Jorgensen.

My best attribute on the field is… My running game at half-back. That’s probably the best.

One thing I’m doing to improve my education is… I am at uni at the moment, studying for a bachelor of business.

My favourite YouTuber is… Good Good, it’s a golfing channel.

My hardest working teammate is… Jack Bowen.

My most skilful teammate isDavid Vaihu is very, very silky, good feet.

My favourite training drill is… Just 15 on 15, team stuff against each other.

My favourite music artist is… Bruno Mars.

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THE FUTURE
A player who could go all the way is… In our team, Jack Bowen, our 10. He is a good player.

If I could play with anyone, I would like to play with… Probably Beaduen Barrett.

I will be happy with my career if I… Reach my potential, if I succeed and reach my goals, I’ll be happy with myself.

I want to make a difference… With my playing ability in Australia. I want Australian rugby to do well, so if I can help that through my ability that would be good. But also off the field, being a good example for the younger generation coming through.

One thing I want to add to my game is… I am to be able to travel the world through my game, be able to go to different places, meet different people, see new things. That would be great.

If I could get a degree in anything I would choose… Business, that’s what I am studying at the moment.

I would be a better player if I… Get my core skills better, passing, kicking.

If I could play in any other country, I would play in… The French comp, Toulon. Toulon or maybe Leicester, one of those teams.

One person I want to meet isAntoine Dupont from the French team.

One trophy I would love to win is… The Rugby World Cup right now, U20s.

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