The NSW Waratahs have secured the services of two of their brightest pathway graduates, brothers Harry and Teddy Wilson.
The talented sons of Reds, Wallabies, and World Cup Winner Dave Wilson, Teddy and Harry have been in the Waratahs system for the past three years and have graduated into full-time professional contracts.
Harry Wilson has signed a two-year deal with the Waratahs keeping him in Sky-Blue at least until the end of the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season.
Outside back Harry progressed through the NSW pathways through St Augustine’s College, Australian U20’s, and into the Waratahs Academy in 2019.
Harry was a standout performer in the Waratahs A matches earlier this season and has played a role in Eastwoods surging run to the Semi-Finals in the Shute Shield this year.
Harry Wilson said, “I’ve always dreamt of playing for the Waratahs, and to hopefully do that here with my brother will be a really special moment for myself and my family,”
“I’ve been in the program now for the past three years and working hard to try and get my first Super Rugby cap, and to potentially do it in my home state, and in front of my friends and family would be amazing.”
Scrum-half Teddy has graduated from an Extended Development contract into the main squad and is also a product of the NSW pathways, attending The King’s School and representing the Junior Wallabies and Waratahs Academy.
Teddy capped off a stellar year in 2021 winning the Dave Dennis Elite Youth Development Player of the Year Award after representing the Waratahs A side, earning selection in the Junior Wallabies side, and making his 1st-grade debut for Eastern Suburbs all in his first year out of school.
The young scrumhalf made his Super Rugby debut earlier this year against the Reds at Suncorp Stadium and has been one of the standouts for Easts in this year’s Shute Shield competition.
Teddy Wilson said, “Making my Super Rugby debut earlier this year was incredibly special for myself and my family and I’m very grateful to have signed here for another season.”
“Harry signing makes it even more special and hopefully one day we can take the field together, as it’s been a dream of ours since we were young.”
Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman said “It is excellent news that both Harry and Teddy have signed with us, as they are both very important to the future of the team.
“Harry is a great addition to our squad who adds depth and quality to our outside backs and has shown great patience in his elevation through our pathway into the main squad.
“Besides his athleticism, Harry is one of the most competitive guys I’ve coached, and his positive energy drives others around him.
“We’ve all seen in the back half of the Shute Shield and in the Australian U20’s matches this year what a dynamic player Teddy Wilson is.
“Besides his fleet of foot and attacking prowess, he’s as tough as teak, a great cover defender, and extremely competitive.
“It’s great that we can get a set of brothers in our team, especially a couple of Wilsons who will be wearing sky-blue instead of red.”
Chay Fihaki Re-Signs with the Crusaders
Dynamic young utility back Chay Fihaki has re-signed with the Crusaders presenting exciting prospects for the team taking the field in the 2023 season.
Fihaki signed with the Crusaders in 2020 as a 19 year old and has since gone from strength to strength, playing seven matches in the red and black and showing great potential.
During his youth career, Fihaki played through the midfield, but as he has progressed through Canterbury and Crusaders’ development pathways, he has nestled into a role at fullback.
Fihaki’s mission for 2023 will be to soak up as much knowledge as possible from some of his All Black teammates.
“I’m feeling excited about the season coming up. 2023 will be another year for me to grow, especially learning off the more senior players and All Blacks,” Fihaki said.
“My focus will definitely be on being more confident and backing my skillset.”
Fihaki’s X-Factor has been outlined by Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson, who said, “Chay has a massive boot and the ability to create something from nothing”.
Keep an eye out for Fihaki this season in the red and black!
NSW Waratahs secure schoolboy talent Max Jorgensen
The NSW Waratahs have secured the services of one of the brightest schoolboy rugby talents in Australia, signing Max Jorgensen.
Max Jorgensen, son of former Wallaby and NRL player Peter Jorgensen, is currently in Year 12 at St Joseph’s College and has spent three years in the NSW system representing the Waratahs Academy at U15, U16, and U18 age levels.
The talented outside back spent time in Nathan Grey’s Junior Wallabies program earlier this year and has been named in the Waratahs Development team to take on a Brumbies XV at St Edmunds College this Saturday in Canberra.
Max Jorgensen said: “I’m proud to be on board with the Waratahs, they have a terrific setup, and the new Centre of Excellence looks amazing.
“I am excited by the opportunities in rugby over the next few years and looking forward to playing high-quality rugby with some amazing players at the Waratahs.
“I’m focused on having a great pre-season and can’t wait to learn from the coaching staff and experienced teammates.”
Waratahs Head Coach, Darren Coleman said: “Securing Max is a positive outcome, not only for the Waratahs but for Australian rugby, as he is one of the elite schoolboys from the class of 2022 and highly sought after.
“It’s great he has decided to remain at the Waratahs especially after spending the past three years in our academy.
“Max understands he has a long way to go and a lot of work to do before he can become a fully-fledged Super Rugby player, but we look forward to working with him and helping him develop his game.”
ACT Brumbies sign Sevens star Ben O’Donnell
The ACT Brumbies are excited to announce the addition of outside-back Ben O’Donnell to the club’s Super Rugby Pacific squad until the end of 2024.
The 26-year-old returns to Australia after a three-year stint in Ireland with Connacht, having previously represented Australia in Sevens on 95 occasions, winning Rugby Australia’s coveted Shawn Mackay award for Sevens player of the year in 2018.
O’Donnell is in line to wear ACT colours for the first time in Saturday’s practice match against a NSW Waratahs development side at St. Edmund’s College.
ACT Brumbies outside-back, Ben O’Donnell said: “I’m excited to be back in Australia and to be joining such a highly respected club like the ACT Brumbies.”
“Playing in Connacht was an unreal experience and I’m grateful for my time there and the mates I made but I’m looking forward to working every day with a world-class coaching staff and the boys here who have created a great culture from everything I have heard.
“Preseasons never get any easier but I’m excited for the hard work and especially looking forward to having a run around with my new teammates on Saturday.”
ACT Brumbies head coach, Stephen Larkham said: “Ben will be a quality addition to our group.”
“Ben was a very accomplished 7s player, and he’s made a good transition to 15s, but we feel he’s got a great chance to develop further in our environment.
“With his pace and feel for the game, Ben’s an option across the backline and we’re excited to see how he goes on Saturday.”
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