Naqau rewarded for strong form with selection in Australia's U16s

Southern Lions and Western Force inside-centre Penijameni Naqau has been rewarded for his strong form in the Men’s U16 Super Rugby Championship with Australia U16s selection.

Rugby Australia on Friday morning confirmed the 25-player squad which will take on a Pacific All-Stars team on Tuesday 12 December at the AIS Rugby Field in Canberra.

Naqau is the Force’s lone representative after an impressive U16s Super Rugby campaign that included scoring two tries in four games. The RA release said: “Naqau is a deserved inclusion after a breakout year for the side.”

Safety Bay Senior High School student Naqau was twice named in the U16s Super Rugby Team of the Week, in Rounds 1 and 4.

Auckland-born Naqau plays for the Success-based Southern Lions, with his rugby idol being All-Blacks wing/centre Reiko Ioane.

National Pathways Manager Nic Henderson said: “We’ve picked an extremely talented squad out of the Super Rugby U16s Championship that will come into camp on December 8 at the AIS.

"Starting with the upcoming game against the Pasifika All Stars, this will be the first of many opportunities for these young men to pull on a gold jersey and represent their country. 

“It’s exciting to think there are players in this squad that could be our Wallabies at the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia, and we’re looking forward to harnessing and encouraging that talent.”

Australia U16s 2023 Squad


Bennett Armistead, Reds 

Berakah Tuifaasisina, Reds 

Daryus Sione, Waratahs 

Ed Baxter, Waratahs 

James Finegan, Waratahs 

Jarvis Orr, Waratahs 

Justice Taumoepeau, Waratahs 

Kiama Jione, Reds 

Kingsley Uys, Reds 

Lewis Wilson, Waratahs 

Liam Robinson, Reds 

Marcus Mastro, Waratahs 

Louis Treacy, Rebels 

Will Ross, Reds 


Angus Grover, Waratahs 

Cameron Kirsten, Brumbies 

Denzel Veikune, Brumbies 

Finn McKay, Reds 

Heamasi Makasini, Waratahs 

Liam Collett, Brumbies 

Onitoni Large, Waratahs 

Peni Naqau, Force 

Rex Bassingthwaighte, Waratahs 

Tom Hartman, Waratahs 

Treyvon Pritchard, Reds 

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