Emerging Waratahs five-eighth Will Harrison has got one eye on a Wallabies call-up as he looks to help his club find form after a poor start to their Super Rugby campaign. The 20-year-old has been one of many talented youngsters blooded in Super Rugby this season, and sees plenty to be positive about despite the turbulence the sport has been enduring in recent times.
He started all six of the Waratahs’ (1-5) matches before the competition was suspended and is one of several youngsters looking to step up from the Junior Wallabies squad that reached the 2019 under-20 world championship final.
“I’ve spoken with (new Wallabies coach) Dave (Rennie) a few times, he’s a good bloke,” Harrison said.
‘We’ve just been speaking about what things I can do in my game that I can improve on (and) hopefully put my hand up for a Wallabies jersey.”
Harrison has been reunited at the Tahs with Junior Wallabies coach Jason Gilmore, who was recently appointed to oversee the club’s defensive setup.
Gilmore replaced former rugby league international Phil Bailey, who had been appointed shortly before the Super season started in January.
NSW conceded an average of almost 36 points a game before the competition was shut down, but Harrison said Gilmore had made an immediate impact as the club prepare to restart their season at Queensland Reds on Friday.
“He came in and fixed our fundamentals, our simple structures that weren’t really in place in that rushed start to our season. He’s come in and been a really cool head,” he said.
Harrison insists there are still plenty of positives for the sport despite recent financial woes, board departures at Rugby Australia, attacks on the code’s leadership and high-profile players moving overseas including Test stalwarts Kurtley Beale and Izack Rodda.
“We’ve got the 2023 World Cup, the (British and Irish) Lions tour in 2025 and hopefully a home World Cup in 2027,” Harrison said.
“There’s a lot of things that excite me to stay in rugby.
“I’ve played rugby my whole life. I’m passionate about the game so I definitely see myself sticking with the game in the future and hopefully being a big part of Australian rugby in the next couple of years to get it back to where it used to be.”
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