Bond University colts Harrison Usher and Dylan Loader have been named in the Junior Wallabies train-on squad in the lead-up to the 2023 World Rugby U20 Championship.
The pair’s standout performance in the Bull Sharks Premier Rugby Colts team in 2022 led to their selection in the U19 Queensland Reds side that finished second in the national championships.
They will now have the chance to push for Junior Wallabies selection after being named in a 48-man squad.
It caps off a tremendous first year at the Bull Sharks for Colts captain Usher.
“I was absolutely stoked. I knew it was always going to be tough moving out of the NSW pathway and trying to get recognised within the Queensland system,” he said.
“But throughout my first year with Bond, the support, coaching and training facilities I have been provided with are unbelievable.”
Making the achievement even sweeter is having close mate Dylan Loader alongside him.
“When the list came out and I saw Dylan there, I was so excited,” he said.
“To be able to train in a Junior Wallabies squad with one of my best mates by my side is an unbelievable opportunity which we won’t waste. I know how hard he’s worked and I can’t wait to keep pushing each other and improving to be able to play in next year’s world cup.”
It has been a monumental rise for Loader who started the year in Colts 2 before becoming a mainstay in the Colts 1 tight five.
“I wasn’t sure I was going to make any team coming into this year so to finish the year like this, I was stoked,” he said.
Standing 195cm, the Coffs Harbour product has his sights set on a big 2023 with the Bull Sharks, then pushing for an Australian debut.
“We were pretty disappointed with how our Bond Colts boys finished the year so next year we are looking pretty strong and with representative footy, I’ll be putting in all the work I can to make that world cup team,” he said.
The squad will meet in February to begin preparations for the Oceania Rugby U20 Championship before embarking on the World Rugby U20 Championship which will be played for the first time in three years due to Covid-19 cancellations.