Young Reds star Jordan Petaia is on his first spring tour with the Wallabies. Picture: Getty Images
Young Reds star Jordan Petaia is on his first spring tour with the Wallabies. Picture: Getty Images

Rookie has his ‘Where’s Wally’ moment

Rookie Wallaby tourist Jordan Petaia has narrowly avoided team punishment for losing team mascot Wally on their spring tour.

As has been custom for the Wallabies when they tour overseas, the youngest member of the squad must carry soft toy Wally wherever they go and not lose it by misfortune or to scheming teammates, otherwise penalties will be imposed.

Petaia, 18, is on his first spring tour and has been regularly sighted clutching Wally but as the team departed Wales for Italy last Sunday, teammate Folau Fainga'a managed to pinch Wally in the Bristol airport toilets.

"My role of looking after Wally is to make sure he doesn't go missing. I have him out at every training session, every game, basically wherever I go," Petaia said.

"Yesterday, at the airport in Bristol, for about five minutes they had me chasing back to the bathrooms looking for it and then I found out they had it."

 

 

Will Skelton holds Wally the Wallaby. Picture: Brett Costello
Will Skelton holds Wally the Wallaby. Picture: Brett Costello

 

 

Experienced Wallaby Matt Toomua said Petaia had avoided punishment because he recovered the mascot within 10 minutes, the maximum amount of time Wally's guardian can be without it.

Toomua revealed Wally may have been exposed to inappropriate scenes over the years.

"There's been plenty of stuff, he's been hung from a building before, there have been photos, a few indecent ones here and there," Toomua said.

"I am sure Jordy as the tour goes on will have to get a bit more vigilant with it.

 

 

Jordan Petaia in action for Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship. Picture: Jerad Williams
Jordan Petaia in action for Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship. Picture: Jerad Williams

 

 

 

"When guys have been sleeping, there have been guys getting their room keys to get it. Guys have really gone out of their way to get it sometimes which is good.

"The young fella had better keep his eyes peeled over the next few days."

The Wally prank was a lighthearted moment for a Wallabies team facing unprecedented pressure and scrutiny following their 10th defeat in 13 games.

Australia play 14th-ranked Italy in Padua on Saturday. They have won all previous 17 Tests against them.

 

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News Corp Australia


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