Rowing star wants Wallabies test

CADEYRN Neville could have been representing Australia at rowing in the London Olympics.

But the former Australian Youth Olympics representative - who stands at a towering 202cm and weighs 120kg - wanted a more physical challenge.

He already spent his weekends playing rugby union on Saturdays and league on Sundays during the rowing off-season.

So three years ago he took up rugby seriously, starting off on the bench for the Manly Marlins fourth grade team.

"I wanted to use my big frame in a contact sport. The idea of running at people with a football was appealing to me," he said.

And the way he does it has appealed to a lot of rugby experts as well.

After making his Super Rugby debut for the Melbourne Rebels just last month, the 23-year-old said he was shocked to get a call-up to the Wallabies squad and a possible Test debut against Scotland or Wales next week.

"When I got the call I thought it was one of the (Rebels) boys geeing me up," Neville said. "I honestly didn't think it was true ... I thought it was a huge wind-up. You could have heard a pin drop when I realised it was for real."

Neville might have started at the bottom, but just a year later the big boys came knocking after he had played his way into first grade.

He joined the Melbourne Rebels this year, biding his time before he got a chance to shine when regular lock Adam Byrnes got injured.

And he took it with both hands.
"My goal this year was to get a run at some stage in the Super Rugby season. I would have been happy with that," he said. "That would have given me something to build on for next season.

"So for this (the Wallaby call-up) to come so quickly feels great."

Australia plays Scotland at Newcastle's Hunter Stadium on Tuesday, and the Welsh at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane next Saturday.

Wallaby coach Robbie Deans and his fellow selectors have named 39 players in the squad, including 12 debutants.

Given the scheduling, don't be surprised to see the likes of Caderyn Neville making his debut in the green-and-gold against the Scots.

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