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Young gun opens up on meeting with Eddie Jones

SPOTLIGHT: Teenage sensation Max Jorgensen says he feels like he belongs as Wallabies coach Eddie Jones toys with the notion of thrusting the son of a gun into his Rugby World Cup squad.

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Jorgensen was already proving to be one of the finds of the Super Rugby Pacific season before returning to the Waratahs with an extra spring in his step following a three-day Wallabies camp in Queensland.

The camp was both an eye-opener and a rite of passage for Jorgensen, who rose to the challenge after Jones placed the 18-year-old on his World Cup radar last month.

“That was unreal, a really good experience,” the emerging star said of the camp on Tuesday.

“It was full on, just big step, you know, a lot of meetings and learnings in a short space of time. It was only three days so a lot to take in.

“But I really enjoyed it and good to meet all the boys.”

Jorgensen’s former Wallaby father Peter played with Jones at Randwick, as well as turning out for the Sydney Roosters and Penrith in the old ARL, before being coached by Jones.

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That proved an easy ice breaker with Jones for the Waratahs’ chip off the old block.

“He’s real good. Good meeting him and a good bit of banter there,” Jorgensen said.

“Definitely felt like I belonged, definitely feel comfortable there with all the boys.”

After starting his rookie Super season with a try-scoring double off the wing, Jorgensen has continued to excel in his preferred fullback role over the past month.

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He’s using his versatility as a selling point to Jones as he jostles for a Wallabies berth with a host of established stars including teammate Mark Nawaqanitawase, himself a revelation on last year’s end-of-year tour of Europe.

Throw in the likes of Tom Wright, Andrew Kellaway, Reece Hodge and Jordan Petaia, Jorgensen is up against it.

But Waratahs assistant coach Jason Gilmore has no doubt the level-headed youngster would be a worthy Wallabies tourist if and whenever called up.

“He’s a different kid. I didn’t know Max prior to this year,” Gilmore said.

“I’d heard a lot about him and my ears would always prick up when I hear a young guy get so many raps at such an early age.

“But he’s been phenomenal. If you rap him, he doesn’t get carried away with it. He comes in every week and wants to get better.

“He does video every week and wants the review. He does extras every session, he’s hungry to be the best footballer that he can be.

“In terms of Wallaby tour, that’s up to Eddie and the selectors to choose. If he goes on it I think it would be a good experience for him.”

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