Sydney University Football Club produced another two capped Wallabies on Saturday night, when hooker Nathan Charles and tighthead prop Laurie Weeks entered the fray in the 74th minute of the Second Test against France, at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne.
And there will be another one in Sydney this Saturday night, with second-rower Will Skelton selected in the run-on side to play France in the Third Test.
Although Weeks and Charles ran on at the same time, the Australian Rugby Union follows historical convention by numbering the players in alphabetical order, so Charles became Wallaby No.881 and Weeks is Wallaby No.882.
With Skelton the only uncapped player in the 23-man squad for the Third Test, will become Wallaby No.883.
While Charles and Weeks didn’t get a chance to pack into a scrum in the Second Test, they were able to savour a series win, with the Wallabies winning the First Test 50-23 and holding on to win the Second Test 6-nil.
They have been selected on the bench for Saturday night along with Sydney University team-mates Nick Phipps at halfback and Ben McCalman in the backrow. McCalman performed well last Saturday, but makes way for Wycliff Palu, who is returning from injury. Sydney University will also be represented by five-eighth Bernard Foley and fullback Israel Folau.
Skelton, another product of the Sydney University Colts production line, will partner Rob Simmons in the second-row as Australia attempts a clean-sweep of the series at Allianz Stadium.
Coach Ewen McKenzie opted to give the 203cm, 140kg giant an opportunity in the starting side at the expense of former captain James Horwill.
McKenzie said he was looking forward to seeing what impact Skelton would bring to the match.
“During the series we’ve already benefited from giving two other locks, Sam Carter and Luke Jones, their first opportunities for Australia,” he said. “The experience they gained will prove invaluable in the long-run and now it’s Will’s turn to show us what he has got.
“I’ve been really impressed with his attitude and the contribution he’s made to this team since the beginning of the series. He’s obviously got impressive metrics but he also has a big motor and is particularly skilful, so we’re looking forward to seeing how he will impose himself on the game.
“He’s worked really hard over the past 12 months at the Waratahs on improving his match conditioning and we believe he is ready for the step-up to Test Rugby.”