2010 Finalist wishes Junior Wallabies good luck

By Pete Fairbairn, 21.06.19

As the Junior Wallabies prepare for the World Rugby U20s Championship Final against France in Argentina on Sunday morning, live on FOX Sports 506 at 4:30am AEST, Melbourne Rebels and Wallabies forward Luke Jones can relate to what they must be thinking.

Jones played in the last Australian team to reach the Final, also in Argentina back in 2010, alongside other graduates to senior International Rugby including Nic White, Luke Morahan, Dom Shipperley, Matt Toomua, Liam Gill and Jake Schatz.

While the result that day didn't go Australia's way, with a New Zealand team featuring the likes of Julian Savea, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Angus Ta'avao, Jason Woodward and Telusa Veainu coming up trumps, Jones holds the memories of that tournament very dear and credits the role it played in preparing him for a professional Rugby career.

"It was a pretty special time, and I played alongside a lot of guys who became really good friends," Jones said. "Our team had people like Michael Hooper, Liam Gill and Quirky (Ed Quirk); it was a really good bunch of guys.

"It's such an interesting time in your career, as everybody is still trying to find their feet in Rugby, but it was a great chance to get to a foreign country for five weeks and it was a pretty unique experience.

"It definitely helped prepare me for what was to come, and you're in that camp environment focusing on Rugby and you're really forced to push yourself to the limit because you've got big training sessions and you're playing matches every few days. It's tough, but it's so rewarding and a great way to test your capabilities."

Fellow Melbourne Rebels locks Esei Ha'angana and Trevor Hosea are part of this year's crop, and Jones said they're two players to watch in the years to come.

"They're both really open to learning, and really humble guys who are great to work with and aren't afraid to take feedback on board. It's annoying when they're off with the Junior Wallabies because we miss them around the Club!"

On behalf of the Australian Rugby community, Jones wished the entire Junior Wallabies team the best of luck.

"Well done for making it this far, and good luck for the challenge ahead. My advice would be to not treat this any differently to how you've been preparing thus far, and it's just one more game - we all hope you do really well."

Pete Fairbairn
Communications Manager
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