Home Rugby Eddie Jones’ shock ‘utility’ picks able to tackle the Springboks

Eddie Jones’ shock ‘utility’ picks able to tackle the Springboks

Eddie Jones’ shock ‘utility’ picks able to tackle the Springboks


Josh Kemeny and Dylan Pietsch had been as stunned as anybody to be listed as utilities within the Wallabies squad to sort out South Africa however will fortunately put on any quantity on their again if it means a Take a look at debut.

Coach Eddie Jones talked up the flexibility of his gamers chosen for subsequent month’s Pretoria Take a look at, saying he needs “multi-dimensional” males on this 12 months’s Rugby World Cup squad.

For Pietsch it’s not a stretch, with the 25-year-old saying he was all the time a flanker earlier than being become a winger on becoming a member of the NSW Waratahs two years in the past from the Olympic Sevens program.

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“I’ve been a backrower my whole life, so it’s something I’m pretty comfortable with,” said Pietsch, who is aiming to be the 15th Indigenous Wallaby, and the first since 2010.

“Initially my reaction was ‘I don’t really know what utility is’, but I don’t really care because I was so happy I’m in the squad. Since I was a little kid I’ve always wanted to be Wallaby

“Eddie sat me down and said I was an option and to get my head around the line-outs.”

Jones has said Kemeny, normally a backrower, could be used on a wing if needed. The 194cm, 110kg Kemeny has never played as a winger, but has always topped the Melbourne Rebels forwards in fitness drills.

Sporting a black eye as he fronted the media on Monday, he didn’t quite have the look of an outside back.

“I was probably even more confused than Dyl (Pietsch) because we played back-row together a few years ago, so he’s more versed in that position than I am out on the wing,” said the 24-year-old, originally from Sydney.

“It’s news to me but to be part of the squad and add impact wherever I can is what I want to do.

“It’s not necessarily something that I’ve done as a junior or that I’ve been chasing to do, but if it’s going to add some value to the team I’m happy to do that.”

The pair were former teammates in a NSW schoolboys side in year 12, with Pietsch at open-side flanker and Kemeny blind-side.

While Kemeny was included in a Wallabies training squad in 2021 by then coach Dave Rennie, he didn’t feel time was on his side ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup.

He suffered a serious knee in July that year, which meant 16 months out following complications from a tendon graft after surgery.

Kemeny started the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season in round one but spent three weeks on the sidelines from round 11 with a dangerous tackle ban.

“It was a long rehab,” Kemeny said.

“To find some confidence and stay on the park this year was my goal and everything that’s come with it has been a massive bonus.

“I was absolutely gutted for Rebels (when suspended) but 100 per cent I was gutted (for myself). I thought I’d really knocked myself back a few pegs by missing those weeks but I just made sure that when I got back out there for the last few games I put my best foot forward.

“To get my foot through the door and my name on the list, that was all I cared about and I’m just going to work from there.”



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