This time last year, Ollie Callan was captaining the West Coast Pirates during the 2018 SG Ball season and preparing for the WA Smarter Than Smoking Premiership season with the Joondalup Giants.
Fast forward 12 months and the 18-year-old has just been announced in the Junior Wallabies’ 45-man squad for next month’s 2019 Oceania Tournament.
Speaking to NRL WA and West Coast Pirates’ Ed Nixon, Ollie’s father, Jason Callan says he couldn’t be any prouder of his son’s achievements.
“He’s worked very hard and I’m just so proud of him,” Jason said.
“He’s set a couple of goals and is now achieving them which is awesome.”
Rugby, whether it be league or union, runs in the Callan family, with youngest brother Luke part of the Pirates’ 2019 SG Ball squad, while other siblings Connor (22) and Jack (20) play union for the Joondalup Brothers.
“All four of my boys play,” Jason said. “They’ve played since they were six.”
“I played when I was younger but was never that good. [But] I loved the sport.”
After making the cut for the 45-man squad, Callan will head to Canberra this weekend for a week-long camp ahead of the Oceania Tournament.
Jason believes Ollie’s experiences with the NRL WA State and Combined Affiliated States squads will help his son adapt to life on the road.
“It’s a massive opportunity, but he’s very ready for the whole thing,” Jason said.
“That comes through travelling with the NRL WA State Team and CAS Team. He’s been involved in that professional environment for a while, so it’s put him in good stead.”
From all of us here at NRL WA and the West Coast Pirates, we’d like to congratulate Ollie on his selection to the Junior Wallabies squad and wish him all the best for the Oceania Tournament.