John Eales (66)
Classic example for me being Nemani Nadolo. We had him as an emerging talent. Never made an impact and left. Becomes a gun winger for the crusaders 3-4 years later after some time in Europe.
We have this discussion about big N regularly. He was a decent U20 player - not a super star as people often say - and he was a terror in club rugby in the Shute Shield.
He was in the Tahs' squad - I think in what we would now call the EPS but I could be wrong. He played well in one trial match that I went down to see at Viking Park and I thought he was reaching his potential in a few glimpses - but he never really made his mark that year.
You've got to consider that none of the other Super teams wanted him either.
He went to France and played for a cellar dweller then went to Exeter where he played part of a season - then left because of off-field issues. But his improvement in that short period in Exeter, compared to what he was in Sydney, was noticeable.
However it was when he went to play in Japan that he made his big step forward - being more than a flat-track bully - and one of the Kiwi coaches over there recommended him to Todd Blackadder at the Crusaders.
Could anybody have said that Billy Meakes would play as well as he is playing now, when he was younger? He was an excellent schools player when I saw him play for Joeys every week and like Nadolo made the Aus U20 team, but I wouldn't have thought that he would be the player he has been this season.
It's only since he's had overseas experience that he became the player he is now.
Not quite to the point of this, but it's funny (strange) - I thought that having five teams would keep more Aussie lads at home and not go overseas - and the Wallabies would have more candidates every season to look at.
But that dog doesn't hunt anymore.