Coveted schools star snubs NRL for rugby deal

Schoolboys sensation Max Jorgensen has been fast-tracked into the Australia A squad just one day after turning down NRL advances and signing with the NSW Waratahs.

The 18-year-old outside back is a year 12 student at Sydney’s St Joseph’s College and is considered one of the brightest young prospects in Australian rugby.

Multiple NRL clubs reportedly had interest in Jorgensen’s services and the Sydney Morning Herald reported this month that Roosters coach Trent Robinson had personally approached him.

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Jorgensen has been picked as a development player for Australia A’s three game tour of Japan next month and has signed a two year Super Rugby Pacific deal with NSW.

He is the son of former Wallaby and NRL player Peter Jorgensen and is viewed as a potential Test star at the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia.

“Securing Max is a positive outcome, not only for the Waratahs but for Australian rugby, as he is one of the elite schoolboys from the class of 2022 and highly sought after,” NSW coach Darren Coleman said.

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“It’s great he has decided to remain at the Waratahs especially after spending the past three years in our academy.

“Max understands he has a long way to go and a lot of work to do before he can become a fully fledged Super Rugby player, but we look forward to working with him and helping him develop his game.”

Jorgensen spent time in Nathan Grey’s Junior Wallabies program earlier this year and will play for the Waratahs development team against a Brumbies XV in Canberra on Saturday.

“I’m proud to be on board with the Waratahs, they have a terrific set-up, and the new center of excellence looks amazing,” Jorgensen said.

“I am excited by the opportunities in rugby over the next few years and looking forward to playing high quality rugby with some amazing players at the Waratahs.

“I’m focused on having a great pre-season and can’t wait to learn from the coaching staff and experienced teammates.”

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The Australia A squad features 12 Wallabies, including fullback Tom Banks who has recovered from a broken arm, and lock Darcy Swain, who is facing a possible ban for injuring All Blacks center Quinn Tupaea.

Former NRL star Suliasi Vunivalu was also picked as players push their case for the end of year Wallabies tour of the northern hemisphere.

“It’s great to have these three matches coming up to continue the development and give our players more game time against high level international opposition,” Australia A coach Jason Gilmore said.

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“With Dave Rennie’s guidance, we’ve picked the best possible players who are available and everyone’s really excited to put the work in on the training paddock and perform well over in Japan.”

Australia A squad for Japan tour

Richie Asiata, Queensland Reds

Tom Banks, ACT Brumbies

Ollie Callan, Western Force

Jock Campbell, Queensland Reds

Hudson Creighton, ACT Brumbies

Filipo Daugunu, Queensland Reds

Ben Donaldson, NSW Waratahs

Tane Edmed, NSW Waratahs

Pone Fa’amausili, Melbourne Rebels

Nick Frost, ACT Brumbies

Matt Gibbon, Melbourne Rebels

Langi Gleeson, NSW Waratahs

Ned Hanigan, NSW Waratahs

Isaac Henry, Queensland Reds

Archer Holz, NSW Waratahs

Harry Hoopert, Queensland Reds

Max Jorgensen, NSW Waratahs

Bayley Kuenzle, Western Force

Lachlan Lonergan, ACT Brumbies

Ryan Lonergan, ACT Brumbies

Mark Nawaqanitawase, NSW Waratahs

Caderyn Neville, ACT Brumbies

Dylan Pietsch, NSW Waratahs

Billy Pollard, ACT Brumbies

Tom RobertsonWestern Force

Rory Scott, ACT Brumbies

Ryan Smith, Queensland Reds

Hamish StewartWestern Force

Darcy Swain, ACT Brumbies

James Tuttle, Melbourne Rebels

Seru Uru, Queensland Reds

Suliasi Vunivalu, Queensland Reds

Brad Wilkin, Melbourne Rebels

Teddy Wilson, NSW Waratahs

Australia A vs Japan XV Tour

Saturday, October 1, at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo

Saturday, October 8, at Best Denki Stadium in Fukuoka

Friday, October 14, at Yodoko Sakura Stadium in Osaka

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