The global pandemic has been proved to have a silver lining for the Rebels as they sign Australia 7's star Jeral Skelton. Skelton, having caught the eye of a number of NRL clubs who were courting him, was on track to go to the Olympics but with the postponement of the games has chosen to head into Super Rugby.
The loose forward has been described by 7's coach Tim Walsh as being 'like and NBA player'. this referring to his skillset and contually bouncing around.
Cousin to Wallaby duo Will Skelton and Peter Betham it looks as if Jeral Skelton will be one to keep your eyes on.
According to the 21-year-old, it was difficult decision but one that’s already paying dividends.
“I had quite a few offers from the NRL but my goal after sevens was to come to fifteens and play Super Rugby, even though I first started with league.
“So far, it’s been a great few days – the boys have really welcomed me into the program.
“Training wise it’s been a little bit different – getting used to how I play as a forward, having been so used to playing as a back in the sevens.
“But I’m learning every day and everyone’s supportive, so that really helps.”
Among the hottest young talents right now in Australian rugby, Skelton first drew national attention following eye-catching performances for the Australian sevens side back in 2019.
So impressive, Skelton was actually preparing to take part in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo with the men’s national side before the recent pandemic hit.
Despite the setback, Skelton is excited by his new opportunity.
“The Olympics were the plan – not that I was guaranteed a spot in the team – but that was the goal, which would’ve been great.
“It is what it is obviously with COVID-19 but I was very excited to transfer to fifteens and to take on this new opportunity.”