Norths rugby juniors tapped as future Wallabies

By on February 14, 2014

THERE were some puffed out chests at North Brisbane Junior Rugby Club this weekend with 11 club members contesting the prestigious Junior Gold Cup, which kicked off in Brisbane last night (Friday, February 14).

Ten under-15 Eagles and 1 under-17 were selected to take part in the competition, designed to identify and develop the nation’s best young rugby talent for future state and Wallaby selection.

More than 3000 boys were trialled Australia-wide in October and November to find the best of the best, reported.

The director of senior rugby at the Shaw Rd club, Aaron Kirkby, said there was a good reason only one of the club’s under-17s, Casey Yovich, was tapped.

St Patrick’s sidelines five

He said five of his best were sidelined by their school team, St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe, who wanted to save them for the AIC schools competition, which begins just after the Gold Cup final is played.

Rugby player Roma Jnr Vaeau

Roma Jnr Vaeau

Kirkby said under-15 Roma Jnr Vaeau had been given the honour of captaining the Brisbane Purple team, and Finn McKee was vice-captain of Yellow

The Cup kicked off last night (Friday) when the under-17 Brisbane Yellow side tackled the Gold Coast as a curtain-raiser to the trial match between the Queensland Reds and Melbourne Rebels at Ballymore. ( reported the Reds lost 18-13.)


Vaeau and McKee had played in the same team at Norths since under-7s but in this competition they would be squaring off, Kirkby said.

Roma Jnr Vaeau and Fin McKee as under-12s.

Roma Jnr Vaeau and Fin McKee as under-12s.

“Both of those boys want a career in rugby.”

Vaeau’s under-15 Purples were due to play tomorrow (Sunday) against Sunshine Coast at Bulimba Riverside Junior Rugby Union Club and McKee’s Yellows at Ballymore against the Gold Coast.

There are four Brisbane teams in each age group and the same from Sydney plus teams from the Gold Coast, Darling Downs, Sunshine Coast, Central Queensland, Townsville, Cairns, Western NSW, Illawarra, Central Coast, Hunter, Northern Inland, North Coast; and the ACT, WA, SA, Victoria.

The Eagles 11 are spread among the four Brisbane teams.

High-level coaching, training

Boys in the program began training with the program in November, had a break around Christmas, and then resumed, Kirkby said. As the chosen few, they’ve benefited from additional expert coaching, strength and conditioning programs, and life-skills training. reported the teams now played a match each week for six weeks in a round robin format with two conferences split into two pools of six teams.

“The northern conference final, between the winner of pools C and D, and the southern conference final, between the winners of pools A and B, will take place on Sunday, March 30, while the overall winners of the conference finals will compete for the Junior Gold Cup on Saturday, April 5, coinciding with the Queensland Reds versus Western Force Super Rugby match in Brisbane,“ it reported.

North Junior Eagles under-15s selected for the Rugby Gold Cup are:

  • Jo Small
  • Pat Hopsick
  • Tim Andrew
  • Nathan Smith
  • Haydn Fox
  • Tom Hogan
  • Jordan Sampson
  • Lachie Campbell
  • Finn McKee
  • Roma Jnr Vaeau


About Nick Moore

Nick Moore is the editor of He also edits the printed Great Wait. Nick started as a journalist in 1993 and has worked for Fairfax, News Corp and APN.

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