JOR­DAN P E TA I A

Rugby World - - FRONT ROW -

ow did you get into rugby? I started play­ing league when I was eight. I also played soc­cer. Then when I went to Bris­bane State High School at 13 or 14, I started play­ing union be­cause they didn’t play league there. Now I like union bet­ter, it’s more strate­gic and it’s a fast game. What po­si­tions have you played? I’ve al­ways been in the back three. I like at­tack­ing and run­ning into space. My run­ning game is prob­a­bly a strength. Who were your child­hood heroes? Prob­a­bly Izzy (Fo­lau). It was very sur­real be­ing in the Wallabies squad with him. Tell us about play­ing with Matt Toomua when you were younger… He’s a fam­ily friend. There’s a big age dif­fer­ence (ten years), so I didn’t learn so much from him on the field. But I did learn in terms of know­ing if you work hard enough and keep push­ing, you can go far.

When did you link up with Queens­land Reds? I started full squad train­ing af­ter I’d fin­ished high school. It was a huge step up in terms of train­ing in­ten­sity.

It’s been a big year for you. What are your high­lights? My Su­per Rugby de­but was a big one – that was huge. The NRC (Na­tional Rugby Cham­pi­onship) fi­nal for Queens­land Coun­try was a big day and the Wallabies tour was ob­vi­ously one of the biggest high­lights. I was pretty sur­prised to be called up but there’s a great at­mos­phere and I re­ally en­joyed it. Who’s been the biggest in­flu­ence on your ca­reer? I’d say my fam­ily. And God. My fam­ily are very sup­port­ive and have helped me get to where I am. My faith is also im­por­tant to me and has played a big part in my suc­cess. What do you do away from rugby? I’m plan­ning to study next year – maybe busi­ness – but for the first year I wanted to con­cen­trate on rugby. What are your goals for 2019? To make the Su­per Rugby fi­nals with the Reds and hope­fully to make the World Cup squad.

HAge 18 (14 Mar 2000) Born Vic t or i a Fran­chise Reds Countr y Aus­tralia Po­si­tion Back thr ee

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