03.06.2008 – Graham Croker
Dean Mumm’s outstanding performances for NSW Waratahs in the latter half of the Super 14 competition and in the final against Canterbury Crusaders on Saturday night have been rewarded with selection in a 30-man Wallaby squad for the opening three Test matches of the year.
The 24-year-old second-rower is well-positioned to become Sydney University Football Club’s 103rd Australian representative with 14 Tests on offer in 2008, beginning with a one-off Test against Ireland in Melbourne on June 14, followed by Tests against France in Sydney and Brisbane.
The Wallabies will then play six Tri-Nations matches against South Africa and New Zealand and a one-off Test against the All Blacks in Hong Kong before embarking a spring tour of Europe.
New Wallaby coach Robbie Deans, who coached the Crusaders to a 20-12 win over the Waratahs in the Super 14 final in Christchurch, had a first-hand look at the 108cm Mumm, who is equally at home at second-row or on the side of the scrum, where he began his senior career with Sydney University.
Mum joins Sydney University team-mate Phil Waugh in the Australian squad. Waugh had a brilliant Super 14 season while captaining the Waratahs.
The University representation might have been bigger, but second-rower Dan Vickerman has been sidelined with an ankle injury and number eight David Lyons, a 44-Test veteran, has accepted an offer to play for the Welsh club, Llanelli, for the next three seasons.
SUFC has also provided three of the 26-man Under-20 Australian team to contest the inaugural IRB Junior World Championship in Wales this month.
Hooker Nathan Charles, utility back Alfi Mafi and flanker Ben MacCalman have been included in the squad for the Under-20 championship, which follows the IRB’s merger of the Under-19 and Under-21 tournaments.
Mafi has represented Australia at schoolboy, Under-19 and Sevens levels since the end of the 2006 season and was elevated to the Waratahs Super 14 squad in early 2007, his first year out of school.
MacCalman, a product of Kinross Wolaroi School at Orange, has also represented – as a flanker – at Schoolboy and Under-19 levels. A tough as teak competitor, he has been playing second-row in the University’s Shute Shield team this season.
Charles, a Knox Grammar School product, has three Australian Schoolboy caps. The Wesley College resident is also a member of the imposing Shute Shield pack. Depending on injury and unavailability, Sydney University utility back Mitch Inman, could also find himself on the plane for Wales. He must have come close to selection in the squad.
Meanwhile, three other SUFC players have been selected in the Australia A squad to contest this month’s IRB Pacific Nations Cup competition.
Five-eighth Daniel Halangahu, second-rower Al Campbell and loosehead prop Jerry Yanuyanutawa have been included in the 26-man squad.