Sydney University Football Club could have another two capped Wallaby in their ranks come Saturday night, should hooker Nathan Charles and tighthead prop Laurie Weeks come off the bench in the Second Test against France, at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne.
When Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore suffered a season-ending knee injury early in the First Test in Brisbane last Saturday, Charles’s name immediately came into the frame as the new back-up hooker behind Tatafu Polota-Nau.
Weeks has been chosen on the bench at the expense of another Sydney University frontrower, Paddy Ryan, who was dropped after his short stint at the end of the First Test when the French scrum turned up the heat and were awarded a penalty try. Ryan might consider himself unfortunate, but with the Wallaby frontrow on the wrong side of the world’s whistleblowers, every scrum is paramount. They always have been, but not every alleged infringement incurred a penalty in years gone by.
Charles and Weeks both played Colts for SUFC before advancing into the senior ranks where they enjoyed premiership success on the way to advancing to Super XV ranks; Charles with Western Force and Weeks with Queensland Reds before his move to the Melbourne Rebels.
Other SUFC players selected for the Second Test are fullback Israel Folau, five-eighth Bernard Foley and flanker Ben McCalman in the starting XV, and halfback Nick Phipps, with Charles and Weeks, on the bench.
Phipps is capped Wallaby No.850, Folau is 867 and Foley is 877. Depending on the order they enter the fray off the bench on Saturday night, Charles and Weeks will be 880 and 881.