‘He’ll contribute mate’: Why Eddie Jones picked teen Max Jorgensen for RWC
Teenage sensation Max Jorgensen has been given an early birthday gift from Wallabies coach Eddie Jones, and there could be more surprises and honours on the way.
Jorgensen will celebrate his 19th birthday about a week before the Wallabies’ World Cup opener against Georgia at Stade de France.
Whether it’s in that Test – pending injury, of course – or later on in the tournament, the teenager will likely make his Wallabies debut on the biggest stage in rugby union.
When the Wallabies revealed their 33-man squad for the upcoming World Cup, Jorgensen was named as one of the five outside backs.
Jorgensen, along with halfback Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, has come from outside the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship squad to win over selectors.
“He’s such a versatile player, he can play fullback or wing equally,” coach Jones told reporters on Thursday evening.
“He is a player of the future for Australian rugby and we want to give him the opportunity to go to this World Cup.
“He’ll contribute mate. Every time he gets on the field, he’ll play well for us, but then he’ll take that experience on to the next World Cup.”
Mere moments after the squad was announced, coach Jones spoke with former Wallaby Morgan Turinui on Stan Sport in Darwin.
The youthful squad raised plenty of questions about the direction of this Australian team, and fans wanted answers.
But there’s a reason to be excited if you’re a Wallabies fan. This team is just getting started.
“Jorgensen, I thought during the Super Rugby season he was one of the standout players so we always had our eyes on him,” Jones mentioned on Stan Sport.
“He’s come through a pretty rigid rehab and he should be fit to play in two or three weeks.”
Earlier this year, as rugby fans will undoubtedly remember, an eagle-eyed fan spotted coach Jones drafting a Wallabies squad during Super Round in Melbourne.
Jones, who was sitting in the stands at AAMI Park, was snapped writing down names. Some of those players have made the grade, while others have fallen short of selection.
“I put that dummy squad out at Melbourne Rebels, when I was having a meat pie watching the Rebels play,” Jones said during a press conference.
“There’s been some players come from outside the thinking, players I really didn’t know about.
“Heard about Jorgensen, heard about him at schoolboys, but you hear a lot of players at the schoolboys level and he was impressive at Super Rugby.
“I think I’d be about 70 per cent of what we knew and 30 per cent different.”
The Wallabies have one warmup Test before their World Cup opener, and it’s a big one. In fact, it doesn’t get much tougher.
Australia take on World Cup hosts and favourites France in Paris later this month.
Join free and tell us what you really think!Sign up for free