Wallabys Under-18 coaches Jayd McKenzie, Andrew Lockwood and Jamie Powell played together through their teens, and are hopeful of leading a spirited squad this season.
Wallabys Under-18 coaches Jayd McKenzie, Andrew Lockwood and Jamie Powell played together through their teens, and are hopeful of leading a spirited squad this season. Jake Jones

Wallabys stalwarts coach juniors to build bright future

MATES from their junior footy years, which they laughingly refer to as "long ago", Andrew Lockwood, Jamie Powell and Jayd McKenzie have been with the Wallabys Rugby League Club for as long as they can remember.

They have seen good times, such as the past couple of seasons, and the rough times such as a few years when the club was about to fold.

Currently in a purple patch in terms of senior footy, Lockwood, Powell and McKenzie are worried about the club in the future, with a lack of youth injection set to hit hard once the top crop moves on.

"We rely on the young blokes to step up," Powell said.

"The next group behind the 18s is the under-15s," said Lockwood.

Worried about losing the modest number of players at the right age for U18s is the biggest concern for Wallabys, which has led to the club appointing the three new coaches.

Having been successful juniors themselves, now the challenge is getting a few more on board and being competitive to direct toward the future.

"I am a life member, I have been here a while," Powell said.

"We have younger players who can look up to us, and we are not parents, we are part of the boys."

The Wallabys remain positive about being able to muster a competitive side.

The coaches are happy to take anyone on, looking to build the team from scratch and become a force.

"We want to be competitive, we will concentrate on a building year," 33-year-old Lockwood said.

"The young blokes liven it up, so come down and have a good time."