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‘The best lock in the world’: Wallabies hopeful Miles Amatosero chases greatness

By Finn Morton
Clermont's Australian lock Miles Amatosero (R) is tackled by Montpellier's French back-row Alexandre Becognee (L) during the French Top14 rugby union match between Montpellier Herault Rugby and ASM Clermont Auvergne at The GGL Stadium in Montpellier, southern France, on November 11, 2023. (Photo by Sylvain THOMAS / AFP) (Photo by SYLVAIN THOMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Wallabies hopeful Miles Amatosero is back in Australia after signing with the NSW Waratahs for the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season. But the opportunity to return home is more than just a step towards a potential Wallabies debut, it’s a milestone moment in the journey to greatness.

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Amatosero, 21, has signed on with the Sydney-based club after three years abroad in France. The hulking second-rower had the chance to sign with the Waratahs Academy as a teenager but instead chose to sign with ASM Clermont Auvergne.

The young Australian trekked the road less trodden. After joining the Clermont Academy, Amatosero debuted in the famed yellow jersey against Ma’a Nonu’s Toulon. Amatosero went on to play more than 30 matches for the Top 14 juggernauts, including four appearances in the esteemed European Champions Cup.

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With that invaluable experience spurring him on, Amatosero has returned home to Australia as a new man. The New South Welshman learned to “love” to set piece over in France and is now ready to make his mark against the best players in the southern hemisphere.

We all must walk before we can run in the pursuit of any dream. Amatosero has put in the work overseas and after settling into life as a Waratah, the lock isn’t shying away from the ambitious goals that he’s chasing.

“I’m trying to not make it so much of a dream, I’m trying to make it a reality,” Amatosero told RugbyPass.

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“I’m staying confident in what I’m doing… just getting better every day. If that means Wallabies that means Wallabies, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

“Of course, that’s the dream, that’s the end goal that I want to play for the Wallabies.

“A huge (goal) for me is being the best player that I can be and hopefully that means the best lock in the world.”

Amatosero set the bar high from day dot at the Tahs. In a statement released by the Waratahs about 115 days ago, the Australian said: “Man, I wish one day I could be a Wallaby.”

As the tallest player at the Waratahs – and by a noticeable margin, too – there’s plenty expected of the club’s ‘big’ recruit heading into the 2024 season under coach Darren Coleman.

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Wallabies Jed Holloway and Ned Hanigan will challenge for spots in the starting side, but Amatosero is more than capable of forcing a reshuffle at some stage.

But before a ball is kicked or a whistle blown in the Super Rugby season, Amatosero is first and foremost just happy to be back home.

“It’s been awesome. Seriously, like I think leading into I had a lot of expectations with being back home (after) being away for so long,” Amatosero said.

“It’s been so much better and more just being home just feels right, if feels normal – it feels normal but in a good way, it’s almost hard to explain.

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“Comfortable but I don’t want to stay comfortable. I’m trying to achieve more and do more and more every day but it’s definitely a lot easier to play good footy.”

The NSW Waratahs will get their Super Rugby Pacific season underway with an unmissable blockbuster against arch-rivals the Queensland Reds at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium. That match is scheduled for 7:05 pm (local time on Saturday, February 24.

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Thomas 2 minutes ago
'Champions get up when they can't': Matt Williams weighs in on Ireland's win over Boks

While both teams have their particular positives, I think neither team should rest on their laurels. South Africa managed to tie a series against an uncomfortable opponent, that has had their numbers for a couple of years, while trial-running a completely new attack system, that still doesn’t work properly. But one aspect of “it doesn’t work yet” is a transition from attack to defense in broken play, as the Boks leaked three tries in two matches this way, and lost the second match as a result. Ireland avoided a series loss in a hostile environment, and in spite of many key player injuries, while managing to significantly improve and tighten their defense in game 2 (which demonstrates the breadth of their squad as well as their ability to adjust and recalibrate). At the same time, their own attack hadn’t amounted to much, either (save from exploiting the gaps in the Boks’ new system, gaps that won’t be there anymore in a few months’ time), and they haven’t found an answer to the Boks scrum, which almost costed them the 2nd match, if it hadn’t been for pretty much unrepeatable Frawley heroics. In the end, there isn’t much that separates those two sides … which is exactly what we knew before the series already. Back to the drawing board for both teams, the work only just begins for two teams with the highest ambition. Start of a cycle alright.

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