Wallaby U20 player of year picks New Zealand
Wallaby U20 player of year picks New ZealandSHARE
Lomax was named in Australia head coach Michael Cheikas' original 48 man squad for 2017 before withdrawing, thus keeping his option to one day play for the All Black jersey open.
Lomax who played Super Rugby at prop in 2017 has committed to the Highlanders for 2019 and 2020 seasons; while his Australian contract still has a year to run, which is preventing an earlier return to New Zealand.
The 21-year-old Lomax is the son of former All Blacks rugby league prop John Lomax, who played 15 tests for the Kiwis between 1992-98. He also played for the Canberra Raiders, Nth Queensland Cowboys and the Melbourne Storm. Tyrel Lomax grew up playing league in Wellington but switched to rugby when the Lomax family moved to Australia.
He was a member of the 2015/16 Australian Under-20 team and was named the Australian U20 player of the year in 2016.
It may have been a difficult decision to return to New Zealand he is sure it’s for the best.
"I grew up in NZ and as an aspiring rugby player, the chance to play for a New Zealand Super Rugby franchise was too good an opportunity to turn down. As a young prop I can’t wait to get to the Highlanders, they have an awesome culture there and I just want to immerse myself in it and learn as much as possible," Lomax said.
Highlanders CEO Roger Clark has been in contact with Lomax and is impressed "throughout our dealings with Tyrel he has shown himself to be a mature young man with a real determination to learn and improve, he has a real desire to go as far as he can in the game.
"He will fit in well at the Highlanders and we would like to think this is just the start for Tyrel, we believe he has a very bright future in front of him,"
Highlanders head coach Aaron Mauger is delighted the young prop has committed to the Highlanders. "Clearly we see Tyrel as an exciting future prospect for the franchise, a strong ball carrying prop, we think his game will benefit from our environment and he will add depth to our squad,"