It’s not very often that two brothers earn national selection in the same sport within days of one another, but that is exactly what the talented local Fowler duo Joey and Jonty recently achieved after both brothers were named in Australian rugby union squads.
The sons of Narrabri Blue Boars club stalwarts Chris and Amanda Fowler have gone from strength to strength in recent years since relocating from their hometown of Narrabri to the big city of Sydney, where they attended St Joseph’s College at Hunters Hill.
Jonty has recently started Year 12 at the prestigious school and Joey was a part of the 2022 graduating class.
They are currently both involved in Super Rugby club setups, Jonty with the NSW Waratahs and Joey with the Melbourne Rebels.
Joey was with the Waratahs up until late last year.
Sixteen-year-old Jonty was named in the under-16s Australian boys team last week following a successful Super Rugby under-16s campaign with the Waratahs.
The gun number 10 featured twice across the four regular pool games, during which he earned himself a start for the grand final on Sunday, November 5, against the Queensland Reds at Canberra’s Seiffert Oval.
He played 50 of the 70 minutes in that match and helped guide the NSW team to victory as they downed the old rivals, Queensland Reds, 22-8.
It capped off a dominant season for the boys in blue after they went through the regular pool games both undefeated and with a brilliant for and against record of 233 and 38.
The under-16s Australian team is a newly-created one, and the 25-player squad will take on a Pacific All-Stars team on December 12 in Canberra at the AIS Rugby Field.
Unfortunately for Jonty, though, he will not get to pull on a green and gold jersey due to a shoulder reconstruction that he underwent days after the Super Rugby under-16s decider.
“I needed a shoulder reconstruction because it keeps dislocating,” Jonty told The Courier.
“It was a tough decision and I really contemplated not doing it, but it’s good that it’s done now and I’ll be able to be ready for the start of next season.”
As for his Australian selection, the Narrabri boy said he was thrilled to have been named following what was an enjoyable Super Rugby under-16s campaign.
“It feels pretty good. All the hard has paid off, I guess,” he said.
“It was very enjoyable being around a lot better players and a professional environment (for the Waratahs).
“The coaching was really good too.
“Making new friends and playing around better players is always pretty enjoyable.”
The Blue Boars junior declared that the grand final against the Reds was one of the toughest matches he had played in, and said that the Reds gave the Waratahs their toughest game of the campaign in the decider.
He said that he is hoping to come back stronger from his surgery, and lock down the number 10 jersey for the St Joseph’s first XV in 2024 and win the premiership in his final year of school.
On Monday, Rugby Australia named its under-20s squad for 2024.
Included in the 45-man preliminary squad was Jonty’s older brother Joey.
The 18-year-old is no stranger to the green and gold, having played for the Australian under-18 and schools XV in both 2022 and 2023.
Australia will host the inaugural Under-20 Rugby Championship next year in May, presenting the team and its players with an opportunity to test themselves ahead of the Under-20 World Championships.To order photos from this page click here