Will Skelton has been named Australia's captain
Will Skelton was a regular for Australia between 2014 and 2016, but a move to play club rugby in Europe meant he was missing from the international stage for five years before getting a recall in 2021.
He is now the Australia captain for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Here are a few facts and figures about the giant second-row.
Ten things you should know about Will Skelton
1. Will Skelton was born 3 May 1992 in Auckland, New Zealand. He stands at 6ft 8in (2.03m) and weighs 22st 1lb (140kg).
2. He joined La Rochelle ahead of the 2020-21 season after previously playing for Saracens, Western Sydney Rams, Waratahs and Sydney Stars.
3. Skelton qualifies to play for Australia through residency after moving to the country as a child, but he could have also played for New Zealand or Samoa.
4. He made his debut for Australia in June 2014 against France.
He played regularly for the team until 2016 but then had to wait five years to be recalled to the Wallabies set-up. His move to Europe to play club rugby meant he wasn’t eligible until Australia relaxed its selection rules in 2021.
5. Ex-Australia captain Michael Hooper described Skelton’s return to the team for the 2021 November Tests as “game-changing”. He said: “He’s got the ability to change a game. His size, he’s a great fella to have around the team. Really good, in terms of off-field stuff.
“For the lack of rugby I’ve seen him play, I’ve heard a lot of good things in terms of he’s been in shape, he’s had a real impact in the (English) Premiership and now, he’s up in France, and I’ve heard some great things around that.”
6. Skelton’s brother Cameron plays for Counties Manukau, his cousin, Jeral Skelton, plays for Rebels and another of his cousins, Brad Mika, played for New Zealand.
7. Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was sad to see Skelton leave the club in 2020 and he said: “Will has contributed enormously to our club over the last number of years.
“On the field, under the guidance of our brilliant performance team, he showed great dedication to transform himself physically to allow his incredible talent to be hugely impactful.
“Off the field, he was a very thoughtful, supportive team-mate who had the respect of everyone at the club.”
8. Skelton is still in touch with his former Saracens team-mates and he told Rugby Pass: “That is what made the transition to France quite easy, I still play a bit of PlayStation a couple of hours a week with a lot of the boys,” he explained.
“We play a bit of COD (Call of Duty), just get online, and we talk s*** mostly. I’m not very good. Sean Maitland is pretty good. Vincent Koch is handy but Richard Barrington is so poor, really bad. It’s good to chat to those guys every couple of days. It has been nice.”
9. He is married to Kate Skelton and the couple have a son together.
10. His shoe size is a whopping 19.
Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.
Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.