William Reynolds Junior Skelton
- 883Wallaby Number
Born in Auckland to Samoan parents Will Skelton is one of the modern-day giants of World Rugby. Standing more than two metres tall and weighing more than twenty-one stone Skelton moved to Australia in the early 2000s and for the majority of his schooling life played rugby league. It was not until age 15, when he attended The Hills Sports High School, that he began to take an interest in rugby.
Skelton made an immediate impression on the code as he won New South Wales selection at both U16 and U18 levels. He graduated to the ARU National Academy and in late 2012 grabbed the attention of New South Wales coach Michael Cheika after the academy had a hit-out against the Waratahs.
Skelton made his Super Rugby debut against the Stormers in May 2013 and featured for his state in the match against the touring British & Irish Lions a month later.
A strong 2014 season, highlighted by a Super Rugby title for the Waratahs, saw Skelton rewarded with a Test debut in the final match of the home series against France in Sydney.
In 2017, Skelton left Australia and signed a two-year deal with English club Saracens.
Skelton won his first Test cap as a starting lock in the 3rd Test, 39-13 victory over France in Sydney. Skelton’s all-round skills were on display for all to see, firstly when he used his bulk to power over for a first half try, and in doing so become the 92nd Wallaby to score a try on debut, and secondly as he delivered a deft short ball to set up a second half try for fullback Israel Folau. He went on to win a total of eight caps for the season including one in each of the end-of-season Spring Tour internationals.
Skelton earned a further six caps in 2015 and won selection to his first Rugby World Cup however his tournament was brought to a premature close after a he suffered a pectoral injury in the pool game against Uruguay in Birmingham.
He won four caps throughout the year as he struggled with his fitness in the wake of injury-related surgery. Skelton was picked for the Spring Tour and came off the bench in the wins against Scotland and France.