World Cup injury heartbreak fuelling Jorgensen's Wallabies ambitions

rugby28 March 2024 03:30| © Reuters
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Max Jorgensen © Getty Images

After rejecting overtures from rugby league club Sydney Roosters to remain with the New South Wales Waratahs, fullback Max Jorgensen said the misery of missing last year's World Cup due to injury was fuelling his push for a Wallabies jersey.

The 19-year-old re-committed to Super Rugby Pacific's Waratahs and the Joe Schmidt-coached Wallabies until the end of 2026 in a deal announced on Wednesday.

Jorgensen was a surprise inclusion in former Australia coach Eddie Jones's World Cup squad but left France without playing a minute after fracturing a bone in his lower leg in training.

That near-miss renewed his determination to play test rugby, he said on Thursday.

"I want to put on that gold jersey for the first time," he told reporters.

"To not put it on there, it was really devastating.

"Injuries happen, it is what it is, but that's what I aspire to do ... put on that gold jersey."

Jorgensen's retention is a boost for Australian rugby following teammate Mark Nawaqanitawase's decision to ditch the code in favour of joining the Roosters next year.

The livewire Australia winger signed a two-year deal with the National Rugby League side in December, making him unavailable for next year's British and Irish Lions Tour and the 2026 season.


The Waratahs enter Friday's home match against the Melbourne Rebels with a 1-4 record and riding a three-match losing streak but coach Darren Coleman said Jorgensen's contract extension had given the whole team a boost.

"A good cheer came up. Max broke the internet last night when it was all announced," he said.

"Everyone's just stoked he's going to be around."

Jorgensen has struggled with a hip problem early in the Super Rugby season but will hope to stay fit and impress Schmidt before the new Wallabies coach picks his first squad for the two-test series against Wales in July.