That was a bad example. He had a pro contract early then had a couple of years without one before getting another opportunity.
Connor Vest is one that only got a pro contract last year at age 27 for the Reds. He was certainly on the radar right through though playing a bunch of NRC.
I still feel it's the players we never capture or expose to the game in the first place, or the ones the have brief brushes with Rugby Union. I'm actually surprised that the Rugby Australia don't push 7's harder as a gateway for attracting more talent. Some great prospective locks end up in AFL.
Anyway, bringing it back to the Wallabies 2023, I think this SuperRugby season is the opportunity for players to put their hand up as a possible bolter or to cement their spots.
I'm keen to see some of the injured players who've been in and around the Wallabies return and hopefully have a great season - players like Pone Fa'amausili, Josh Kemeny, James O'Connor, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Alex Mafi, Rob Leota, Lachlan Swinton, Angus Bell, Izaia Perese, Liam Wright.
I'm also keen so see the plethora of younger lads step up. The likes of Jordan Petaia (hard to believe how young he still is), Will Harris & Harrison, Tom Hooper, Josh Flook, the Lonergan's, Carter Gordon .... Bayley Kuenzle etc.. etc.. all have a blinder of a season.
... I also hope Reece Hodge has a good season. He's had some real hot and cold periods the last couple of years, but I actually think he brings a lot (and really is the ultimate utility player a little similar to England's Elliot Daly). I think it's actually taken him some time to get back into some form after his knee injury in 2021.