Sons of guns: Nasser, Lynagh out to forge own Wallaby path

Sun, Jun 23, 2024, 8:15 AM
Lachlan Grey
by Lachlan Grey
Josh Nasser and Tom Lynagh ahead of the Wallabies' 2024 July Test series training camp in Brisbane. Picture: Julius Dimataga/Wallabies Media

32 years on from their fathers' World Cup antics, Tom Lynagh and Josh Nasser are taking the first steps on their Wallaby journeys together.

The Queenslanders were among 13 Reds named in Joe Schmidt's July Test series squad, joining the likes of Josh Flook, Alex Hodgman, Angus Blyth and Ryan Smith as uncapped members.

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Yet the names Lynagh and Nasser carry a greater weight and expectation in the Test arena.

Michael Lynagh's heroics in Wallaby gold - particularly Australia's 1991 World Cup-winning campaign - are renown.

Fewer would know Lynagh's match-winning boot in a 9-3 pool victory over Western Samoa came alongside eight-Test backrower Brendan Nasser, with whom he progressed through school, club and state rugby.

Michael Lynagh on debut for Queensland at 18 in 1982

It's a relationship that's endured to this day for both the fathers and sons.

"When Dad (Brendan) found out the news, him and Noddy (Michael Lynagh) were on the blower together. They were all pretty fired up," Josh told media in Brisbane on Sunday.

"They went through (GPS rugby school Gregory) Terrace together, both played Uni, Queensland then Wallabies so they're pretty well connected. They love getting over the text together."

"I believe they keep in contact quite often, it's a good little relationship they've got," Tom added.

"Josh was one of the first people I met coming over here, he's always looked after me and looked out for me to so it's all the more special being here with him and sharing the experience together."

 High-flying siblings Bella (Australian Sevens) and Josh (Queensland Reds & Wallabies Train-On Squad) Nasser together at Ballymore Stadium. Picture: Brendan Hertel

Nasser's selection comes after re-signing with Queensland through 2026 while Lynagh's inclusion in Schmidt's squad has quashed concerns the 21-year-old could follow his older brother's footsteps into an Italian jersey.

Winger Louis, 23, starred on debut for the Azzurri during Six Nations and the Italian Rugby Federation was reportedly eager to land another Lynagh before Tom inked a two-year extension of his own at Ballymore.

"There was a little bit of contact (with Italy) … but it's always been a dream of mine to represent Australia and I'm here at the moment so it makes sense to try and stay here and continue that dream," Tom said.

"(Louis)' been trying to convince me to come over. He's non-stop every single day but I'm pretty settled here with where I am at the moment."

Both Nasser and Lynagh were beneficiaries of a revitalised Reds program in 2024 and will enjoy familiar surrounds in their maiden Wallaby camp.

Tom Lynagh v NSW Waratahs - Round 1 Super Rugby Pacific 2024. Picture: Getty

The Australia squad will train at Ballymore throughout the coming week before flying to Sydney ahead of next Saturday's opening Test with Wales.

It's a short turnaround with plenty of detail to digest but neither player will shirk the chance to step out from their fathers' shadow and press for selection.

"It's so nice to be tied to someone who has played for the Wallabies. It's been my life goal to put on the jersey and represent my country (but) it's good to step out and be my own player," Josh said.

"In terms of my father's shadow, it's sort of always been there since I was a kid," Lynagh added.

"It's never really affected me and I've always tried to create my own path and I'm fortunate that Dad's who he is - that's special to me."

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