Australia unleash 'super fast' teenager on world

The Australian men's sevens team believe they have uncovered a gem after naming teenager Hadley Tonga in their squad for the 2023-24 world series.

Tonga reportedly attracted NRL interest from the Eels and Dolphins before signing a long term rugby contract designed to see him play for the Waratahs after a sevens stint.

The outside back starred for Australia's under-18 side last year and is completing his education at The King's School in Sydney this year.

Watch the World Rugby Sevens on the home of rugby, Stan Sport, kicking off in Dubai on December 2. Every match exclusive, ad free, live and on demand

Hadley Tonga poses in Sydney.

"Hadley is one of the most exciting young players in rugby," Australia coach John Manenti said.

"He is super fast and extremely elusive. He's only young, but I think he can make a real impact this year."

The rebranded 'SVNS' series kicks off in Dubai on December 2-3 as teams build towards the 2024 Paris Olympics.

READ MORE: World Cup's baffling snub for Aussie hero

READ MORE: AFL draft stunned as player's plus-one gets picked

READ MORE: Benji snaps up explosive Fijian in Tigers rebuild

Manenti has stuck with Nick Malouf as captain following an injury plagued 2022-23 campaign while Henry Hutchison returns from a serious knee injury.

Ben Dowling returns to sevens after a season with the Waratahs while Manenti confirmed star recruit Michael Hooper would join the squad fulltime in January.

"I am thrilled with the group we have," Manenti said.

Michael Atkinson, Sam Worthington and Tom Decent tackle a wild ending to the Eddie Jones era and unpack Rugby Australia boss Phil Waugh's subsequent press conference

"We are starting to build some real consistency with the core of the group, while adding quality through some new faces.

"I am over the moon to be able to welcome back Henry Hutchison into the playing squad – an ACL injury always tests a player's resolve to come back, and 'Hutch' has worked his tail off to get back.

"It's great to have Ben (Dowling) back too. He showed plenty of quality when he was with us a couple of years ago, and it looks like his time with the Waratahs has only helped make him a more complete player.

Michael Hooper poses in his new sevens kit.

"Throw in the experience and skill of Malouf, Paterson, Roache, Paterson, Josh and James Turner, 'Moz' Longbottom, Lawson, Clements, Bird and Gonzalez, and we're starting to see some continuity from year to year – which can only be a good thing."

Australia finished fifth in the 2022-23 men's series behind New Zealand, Argentina, Fiji and France.

Australia squad: Nick Malouf (c), Ben Dowling, Dally Bird, Dietrich Roache, Hadley Tonga, Hayden Sargeant, Henry Hutchison, Henry Paterson, James Turner, Josh Turner, Matt Gonzalez, Maurice Longbottom, Michael Hooper, Michael Icely, Nathan Lawson, Tim Clements

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply