Graham Croker
The selection of 22-year-old backrower Ben McCalman in the 28-man squad to contest the 2010 Tri-Nations rugby union series should herald another Wallaby from Sydney University Football Club.
He is one of four SUFC members in the squad, including utility back Berrick Barnes, halfback Luke Burgess and second-rower Dean Mumm.
If selected to play against the All Blacks or Springboks during the series, McCalman will become the club’s 90th Wallaby (and 108th Australian representative). Barnes became the club’s 89th Wallaby when he ran out for the Students against Randwick in their recent Shute Shield encounter.
McCalman, the Western Force Riding Star for 2010, is a product of Kinross Wolaroi School at Orange. He earned Australian Schools selection in 2005 and 2006 before enrolling at Sydney University, where he was a member of the Colts I premiership side in 2007 and the Australian Under 19s.
Although a specialist backrower, McCalman played most of the 2008 and 2009 seasons in the second-row for Sydney University First XV as the Students marched through to their fourth and fifth successive premierships. During the 2009 season he also represented Australian in the IRB Sevens Adelaide tournament.
The tough grind of the Sydney competition was great grounding for the tough-as-teak boy from the back-blocks of Warren. Along with Pat McCutcheon, he was one of the stand-out forwards in the Shute Shield ranks and earned a Super 14 contract with the Western Force, who valued his versatility in the scrum and lineout and his no-nonsense approach in attack and defence.
At 105kg and standing 192cm, McCalman improved with each of his Super 14 appearances for the Force during 2010, culminating in selection for the Australian Barbarians against the touring England side in June.
Tri-Nations squad: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Kurtley Beale, Richard Brown, Luke Burgess, Mark Chisholm, Quade Cooper, Ben Daley, Rocky Elsom (captain), Anthony Faingaa, Saia Faingaa, Will Genia, Matt Giteau, Scott Higginbotham, Matt Hodgson, Rob Horne, Peter Hynes, Digby Ioane, Ben McCalman, Salesi Ma’afu, Stephen Moore, Dean Mumm, James O’Connor, David Pocock, Benn Robinson, Nathan Sharpe, Rob Simmons, James Slipper.
Meanwhile, Sydney University ran in 10 tries in their 68-24 win over Parramatta in the Round 13 clash at Sydney University No.1 Oval on Saturday.
Dave Dennis, Tom Carter and Nathan Trist each bagged a pair, while Julian Huxley landed nine conversions to go with a try for a 23-point match haul.
The win lifts Sydney University to seventh on the Shute Shield ladder on 31 points behind Southern District (55), Manly (53), Eastwood (50), Eastern Suburbs (42), Randwick (41) and Warringah (34).
With nine rounds to go, Sydney University will need to win the majority of their matches to make the top six for the finals series.
Sydney Grade competition – Round 13
First Grade: Sydney University 68 (Dave Dennis 2, Tom Carter 2, Nathan Trist 2, Lachlan Mitchell, Michael Hodge, Julian Huxley, Nick Phipps tries; Julian Huxley 9 goals) d Parramatta 24 (Steve Bortolussi 2, Ryan Aniseko, Maile Latukefu tries; Tom Woods 2 goals) at Sydney University No.1 Oval.
Second Grade: Sydney University 88 (Paddy Ryan 3, Trent Dyer 2, Bernard Foley 2, Josh Dillon, Dane Cole-Clarke, Sam Hosking, Eddie Bredenhann, Jacob Taylor. Jeremy Atkin tries; Bernard Foley 9 goals) d Parramatta 7 (Tui Faasisilia try; Luke Bartels goal).
Third Grade: Sydney University 68 (James McMahon 2, Toby L’Estrange 2, Oliver Gresham, Dan Simpson, Josh Ellice-Flint, Matt Schwager, Julian James, Chris Chapman tries; Justin Bosilkovski 9 goals) d Parramatta 7 (Charlie Fusi try; Sam Latu goal).
Fourth Grade: Sydney University 67 (Hugh Caterson 3, Phil Scott 2, Willie Du Plessis 2, Alex O’Donnell, Ian Hilliard, G Clark, James Cameron tries; Tom Campbell 6 goals) d Parramatta 0.
First Grade: Sydney University 69 (9 tries) d Parramatta 5.
Second Grade: Sydney University 67 (11 tries) d Parramatta 0.