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'No one has nailed down the position': Wallaby eager to prove himself

By Finn Morton
Jock Campbell attacks the French defence for the Wallabies. Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

This year’s Rugby World Cup in France is still eight months away, but the Wallabies have already begun to prepare for what promises to be the most competitive tournament yet.


The first Australian squad of the year was named last week, ahead of a four-day training camp on the Gold Coast.

More than 50 Wallabies donned the coveted gold jersey throughout an injury-ravaged campaign last year, but only 44-players were selected for the camp.

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Coach Dave Rennie will have to make some more tough decisions later this year, as he’s only able to select 33-players for the sports premier event.

Clearly, the competition for places is set to heat up during the upcoming Super Rugby campaign.

Childhood dreams are within reach for many of Australia’s best rugby stars, but it’s up to them to make their mark domestically and prove themselves once more.

Utility back Jock Campbell was one of Australia’s many debutants in 2022, and the 27-year-old has the potential to become one of the finds of the year moving forward.

The Wallabies longed for a genuine fullback for much of last season, following a shocking injury to Brumbies star Tom Banks in the first test of the year.


After making his debut against Scotland at Murrayfield, Campbell started tests against France and Italy.

But as he told reporters on the Gold Coast this week, nobody can afford to rest “on their laurels” with the World Cup just around the corner.

“I feel like no one has nailed down the position but there are a lot of guys that are capable,” Campbell said.

“I feel like we have a lot of depth in that position and even on the wing. We saw a lot of guys perform well over the Spring Tour like Marky (Nawaqanitawase) with a couple of awesome performances.


“There’s a lot of depth in the outside backs… I’m confident in my own ability to get out there but so is everyone I’m sure, and I think that’s only a positive.

“That competition creates depth and makes everyone play better. If you only have one or two guys, everyone rests on their laurels which I don’t think you can do in this team at the moment.”

From an individual point of view, Super Rugby has never been so important for some rugby stars who call Down Under home.

After playing for his High School’s 2nd XV, but clearly he never gave up on his rugby dream.

The fullback has been a regular of the Queensland Reds’ matchday squads for quite a few years now, and is expected to play a key role in their campaign once again this season.

But the Reds will have to chase Super Rugby glory without one of their biggest stars.

Prop Taniela Tupou, also known as The Tongan Thor, suffered an injury during Australia’s end-of-season tour.

But as Campbell discussed, it’s a great opportunity for Bond University prop Zane Nonggorr to truly announce himself at Super Rugby level.

“You can’t replace Taniela, he’s one of a kind and has been so good for so many years but we have some good young props,” he added.

“I know Zane (Nonggorr) was injured for a lot of last year but I know he’ll surprise people with how good he is. He’s young, but he’s been with us for a while so I think he’ll surprise people.”


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