Australian Schoolboys rugby league team
|Governing body||Australian Rugby League|
|Head coach||Brian Battese|
| Australia 86–6 Cumbria Academy
(Workington, England; 2014)
| Junior Kiwis 46–8 Australia
(Kougari Oval, Wynnum, Australia; 30 July 2005)
The Australian Schoolboys rugby league team is the national rugby league football team for secondary school students in Australia.
The team competes against counterparts in New Zealand, known as the Junior Kiwis, England, Wales and France amongst others. Started in 1972, the Australian Schoolboys have produced over 50 Australian representatives, amongst a host of players who have represented other nations at the highest level.
Established in 1972, the first Australian Schoolboys rugby league team featured players from New South Wales and one Western Australian player. The team did not include any Queensland players as they did not send players to the trials. Unlike current day Schoolboys, the team was an Under 16 years age division. Coached by future Western Suburbs Magpies Team of the 20th Century coach, Roy Masters, and featuring future internationals Ian Schubert, Craig Young, Les Boyd and Royce Ayliffe, the side toured Great Britain, going undefeated on the tour and scoring 108 tries in their 11 games to their opponents one. This would be the last Schoolboys team until 1978.
In 1978, the first official Australian Schoolboys Championships were held, but NSW Combined Catholic Colleges did not attend. For the first time Queensland based high school players trialled and a merit team was selected. The first of four Schoolboys merit teams, a merit team is chosen based on the trial games but does not tour or play games together.
The first Schoolboys side of the 80's was selected in 1981, when the Schoolboys hosted the touring Junior Kiwis side from New Zealand. They played two games with the Schoolboys winning both. It was the first time the Schoolboys hosted a tour and played a New Zealand side.
In 1982, the Schoolboys returned the favour and toured New Zealand for the first time, where they also received their first ever loss, to an Auckland based selection team, 16–10. The team was captained by future Australian international Paul Langmack and featured another future international in Andrew Ettingshausen. Another merit team was selected in 1983 and once again featured Ettingshausen. Future internationals Greg Alexander and Paul Sironen and future first grade regulars, Tony Butterfield and Jeff Hardy, were also a part of the side.
In 1984, the Schoolboys hosted a tour by the British Upper Schools and Colleges (BUSCARLA), winning both matches against the tourists. The 1984 Australian Schoolboys was also the first to feature a player who would go on to represent a country other than Australia at international level. Theo Anast from Armidale High School would later play six games for France between 1993 and 1994.
The team selected in 1985 went undefeated against a touring Junior Kiwis side and in 1986 went undefeated once again on their tour of England. The 1986 side featured future Australian internationals Bradley Clyde and Andrew Gee. In 1987, another merit side was selected, which featured Clyde for the second time.
In 1988, the side toured New Zealand and featured Tim Brasher, David Fairleigh and a 16-year-old Brad Fittler. The team went undefeated. Fittler was named again in 1989, as the Schoolboys hosted the British Amateur Rugby League under 19's (BARLA) for two games, winning both.
The 1990 Schoolboys side was originally a merit team, but played a one off game against the Australian Youth Development Squad, which they won 38–6. The 1991 team, once again, went undefeated on their tour of England.
In 1992, with a side featuring future premiership winner and Australian international Steve Menzies, the side toured New Zealand. On the tour, the Schoolboys lost their first ever Test match to a New Zealand side featuring future Kiwis Gene Ngamu, Joe Vagana and Ruben Wiki.
In 1994, the Schoolboys hosted, and defeated, the touring Junior Kiwis. This marked the first appearance of a then 15-year-old Owen Craigie, who would represent the Schoolboys a record three times in 1994, 1995 and 1996. Future Australian internationals Brett Kimmorley, Ben Ikin and Luke Priddis were also in the side.
The 1995 Schoolboys toured France and England and went undefeated. The side featured future Australian internationals Trent Barrett and Matthew Gidley and World Cup winning New Zealand captain Nathan Cayless. 1995 also saw the first ever Northern Territory schoolboy in Duncan MacGillivray. MacGillivary would later represent Scotland at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.
Due to the ARL and Super League war in 1996, the Schoolboys (who were supposed to tour New Zealand) toured Papua New Guinea for the first time. They went undefeated in their four matches. The team was coached by 1972 Australian Schoolboys representative Brian Hetherington. The team also featured Ben Rauter, whose father Herb also represented the Australian Schoolboys in 1972. Ben and Herb became the first father son pair to represent the Schoolboys.
The side went undefeated in their 1997 when they once again hosted BARLA, in a squad which featured future first graders and representative players Luke Bailey, Dane Carlaw and Luke Patten. In 1998, the Schoolboys toured New Zealand, playing 4 games and losing only one to an Auckland Invitational XIII. The team featured future Australian international Mark Gasnier, who would play for the Schoolboys again the following year. The 1999 side toured France, England and Ireland, going undefeated. The squad featured future Australian internationals Justin Hodges, Jamie Lyon, Corey Parker and Brent Tate.
The first Schoolboys team of the new millennium hosted a touring New Zealand schools side in 2000, comfortably winning both games. In 2001, the Schoolboys hosted the touring England Academy side and French Schools team. The Schoolboys went undefeated in three games and featured future internationals Greg Bird and Michael Weyman (who would represent again in 2002).
In 2002, on the Schoolboys tour of England and France, they lost two games for the first time on the same tour and lost a test series, when they were beaten by the England Academy side. The Schoolboys side featured a number of future Australian internationals including Weyman, Keith Galloway, Ben Hannant, Ryan Hoffman Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, future Fijian international Ashton Sims and future French international Dimitri Pelo.
The 2003 side, which featured current New Zealand captain Benji Marshall and future Australian international Karmichael Hunt, toured New Zealand winning two games and losing one. In 2004, the Schoolboys hosted the touring English and French teams. They defeated BARLA and a France Schools side but lost to the England Academy team. The 2004 side featured future international Greg Inglis.
The 2005 side played a two games test series against the Junior Kiwis in Australia, winning the first game and losing the second. The team featured future Australian international stars Michael Jennings, David Taylor, Darius Boyd and Akuila Uate. In 2006, the Schoolboys toured Wales, England and France and went undefeated for the first time since 2001. Future representative players Israel Folau, Mitchell Pearce and Chris Lawrence were on the tour.
The Schoolboys then went undefeated on their 2007 tour of New Zealand, in 2008 against the touring England Academy and French Schools sides and in 2009 against the touring Great Britain Community Lions. Over the three years the side featured future first grade players Martin Kennedy (rugby league), Kieran Foran, Lachlan Coote, Andrew McCullough, William Hopoate, Jamal Idris, Aaron Woods, Jason Taumalolo, Cheyse Blair and Joseph Leilua, amongst a host of others.
In 2011, the Schoolboys toured New Zealand and played the Junior Kiwis twice, winning one game and losing one game. Richard Kennar, from Craigieburn Secondary College CAS, became the first Victorian player to play for the Australian Schoolboys.
The 2012 Schoolboys squad featured Mitchell Moses, the nephew of 1979 and 1981 schoolboy representative Ben Elias, and future first graders Dylan Walker and Kelepi Tanginoa. The team defeated the touring England Academy squad in both their encounters, 43-10 in Canberra and 42-14 in Brisbane.
The 2013 side toured New Zealand and featured Jackson Hastings, the son of Sydney Roosters great Kevin Hastings, and Sione Mata'utia, who would go on to make his senior international debut for Australia a year later, becoming Australia's youngest ever representative.
The 2014 side was announced on 14 July and toured France and England in November and December of that year. The side played 7 games, winning 6 of them. The side broke the record for biggest win by the Australian Schoolboys, defeating the Cumbria Combined Regional Academy 86-6.
In 2015, the Schoolboys hosted the touring New Zealand under-18 side, winning both games in the two-game series.
2016 Australian Schoolboys Squad
- Nick Cotric (Erindale College, ACT)
- Mawene Hiroti (Matraville Sports High School, NSWCHS)
- Zac Lomax (Figtree High School, NSWCHS)
- Tui Afualo (Westfields Sports High School, NSWCHS)
- Campbell Graham (Marcellin College Randwick, NSWCCC)
- Lachlan Lam (Marcellin College Randwick, NSWCCC)
- Sean O'Sullivan (Patrician Brothers' College, Blacktown, NSWCCC)
- Pasami Saulo (Hunter Sports High School, NSWCHS)
- Blayke Brailey (Aquinas College, Menai, NSWCCC)
- Thomas Mikaele (Keebra Park State High School, QSSRL)
- Daniel Keir (Erindale College, ACT)
- Josh Curran (Patrician Brothers' College, Blacktown, NSWCCC)
- Sean Keppie (Westfields Sports High School, NSWCHS)
- Dean Blore (The Hills Sports High School, NSWCHS)
- Reece Robson (Endeavour Sports High School, NSWCHS)
- Payne Haas (Keebra Park State High School, QSSRL)
- Michael Tupou (Patrician Brothers' College, Blacktown, NSWCCC)
- Billy Burns (McCarthy Catholic College, Emu Plains, NSWCCC)
- Billy Burns replaced Josh Curren after the first Test.
Australian Schoolboys Team of the Century
On 19 September 2008, as a part of rugby league centenary celebrations, Australian Rugby League CEO Mr. Geoff Carr and ARL president Mr. Bruce Wallace announced the Australian Schoolboys Team of the Century.
- Tim Brasher (Grantham High, NSWCHS)
- Andrew Ettinghausen (De La Salle Cronulla, NSWCCC)
- Mark Gasnier (Peakhurst High, NSWCHS)
- Justin Hodges (Cairns State High, QSSRL)
- Greg Inglis (Wavell State High, QSSRL)
- Brad Fittler (McCarthy Senior High, NSWCCC)
- Greg Alexander (Patrician Brothers' Fairfield, NSWCCC)
- Craig Young (Corrimal High School)
- Danny Buderus (St Francis Xavier Newcastle, NSWCCC)
- Les Boyd (Nyngan High School)
- Steve Menzies (Narrabeen High, NSWCHS)
- Paul Sironen (Holy Cross Ryde, NSWCCC)
- Bradley Clyde (Hawker College, ACT)
- Tonie Carroll (Beenleigh State High QSSRL)
- Ian Schubert (Wauchope High School)
- Matthew Gidley (Glendale Technology High, NSWCHS)
- Brent Tate (Clontarf Beach State High QSSRL)
- Roy Masters 1972–1973
- Ray Montgomery 1979–1980
- Ray Pendrigh 1981
- Bob McGuiness 1982
- David Waite 1984, 1986
- Geoff Snowden 1985
- Arthur Sauverain 1988–1989
- Bob Cullen 1990
- Peter Sollis 1991–1992
- Bruce Wallace 1993–1995
- Brian Hetherington 1996–1997
- Mark Greer 1998–1999
- Michael McEntyre 2000–2002
- Rod Patison 2003–2004
- Simon Huntly 2005–2007
- Brendan Barlow 2008–2010
- Peter Denham 2011–2014
- Brian Battese 2015-2016