A pair of young rugby prodigies from Joondalup are hoping to continue their impressive form ahead of the sport’s premier competition later this year in South Africa.
Joondalup Brothers Rugby Club’s Marley Pearce and Ryan McGloin recently returned home from the Australian Institute of Sport as part of the 2023 Junior Wallabies inaugural camp.
The Western power duo has been confirmed to be included in training for the 40-man squad in February ahead of the U-20 World Championships in South Africa, which begins on June 24.
He was slimmed down from the 48-man squad named to last year’s U16 and U19 tournaments.
Pierce and McElwain were part of only four WA representatives on the team.
The duo, both part of the Brothers’ First Division team, began playing for their club at the age of six.
ACT Brumbies’ Austin Anderson also moved up the ranks with Joondalup until he was 16 years old, when his family moved to New Zealand.
A Joondalup Brothers spokesperson said their selection was largely a testament to the quality of the club’s junior programs and coaching, but that it was also a huge achievement for the boys.
“Joondalup is one of the youngest clubs in the WA competition, yet our success in producing talent on an acting level is almost unparalleled,” they said.
“It’s kind of bragging and kind of acknowledging a lot of blood, sweat and tears from an amazing group of volunteer coaches, coaches, and administrative staff. We’re very proud of the boys, especially Ryan McGloin and Marley Pierce.”
Junior Wallabies coach Nathan Gray said some of the players were named on the back of their clubs’ strong pre-season.
“It’s exciting to name such a strong squad knowing also that we still have a number of players on their way back from injury,” he said.
“With the turmoil of the past few years behind us, I look forward to getting the group together in Canberra and ramping up preparations for the huge 2023 year.”
The Under-20 Rugby World Championship has been canceled for the past three years.
In 2019, Australia lost by a point to two-time defending champions France in the final.
The Junior Wallabies are still going strong since the tournament’s inception in 2008.
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