Waratahs set to unleash teenage debutant as Michael Hooper nears return
The 19-year-old was named on the bench for the Waratahs clash with Melbourne on Saturday night at the SCG, although he is a halfback rather than flanker like his father, who played 105 games for Queensland.
With injury to skipper Jake Gordon, Wilson got the nod and Coleman said he was excited to see what the youngster could bring as back-up to starter Jack Grant, the son of former test winger James Grant.
“He’ll be good – he’s a little jack in the box – he’s really evasive,” Coleman said of Wilson.
“He’s got a little spark around the back of the ruck.
“He grew up boxing a lot as a kid so he’s got a tough edge to him as well. He’s only little but he’s fearless and I can’t wait to watch him play.”
Flanker Hooper, who has been nursing a foot injury while on extended leave after the test campaign, will return to full training next week but he jumped into a session this week.
“I don’t know whether it was the Hooper effect but we actually trained the best we have in a long time,” Coleman said.
“He trained with the second team and they were sharp – I think a lot of them were a little starstruck and didn’t want to let the Wallabies captain down.
“So if we train that well when he’s here all the time, then we’ll be on a winner.”
While the Waratahs are 2-2 this season, the Rebels are yet to crack a win from four games.
Coleman believes Melbourne have too much fire-power not to shake off their horror start but is hoping it doesn’t come this round.
“I don’t think complacency is going to be our issue but more so their guys bouncing back to form,” he said.
“(The Rebels) have got too many good players and lots of guys with real Wallabies credentials that when they do fire, they’re going to be hard to beat.
“My goal is to make sure they don’t bounce back this week.”
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