Aussie schoolboy star headed for Crusaders

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Saturday, August 11, 2018    Getty Images

New Zealand born and raised first five-eighths Campbell Parata moved to Western Australia with his family and first emerged on the Australian development radar as a 15-year-old.

Making his mark in Queensland at The Southport School, he played for the Australian Schoolboys Barbarians last year. His tactical sense, ability on the break and goal-kicking are all assets to have caught the eye.

Rugby Australia were reported to have approached Parata about his future but it was found his New Zealand-based management had agreed a deal with the Crusaders ahead of his senior year at high school.

Because of that he wasn't considered for Queensland Schoolboys this year. reported that the head of national XVs programmes Adrian Thompson said there was little Rugby Australia could do because Parata had already set his heart on a return across the Tasman.

"He's probably a bit of a different case to the other kids that do this," Thompson said.

"He's a New Zealand kid and a lovely kid, and mum and dad are really nice people but at the end of the day they're from New Zealand and always wanted to go back there.

"It's a bit different to Nick Frost who chose the Crusaders ahead of the Waratahs, for example. It was more the fact that the kid just wants to go home," he said.

The Australians were confident they had playmaking talent within their ranks to compensate for Parata's loss.

"Don't get me wrong, it would have been lovely to keep Campbell but we wish him all the best because that's the reason he chose the Crusaders – it didn't really have anything to do with us as far as we knew," he said.

Thompson said he and Junior Wallabies coach Jason Gilmore had talked with Parata and his mother in April in Queensland during an Under-20s event in April.

"We touched base with them and got them down to watch the 20s final and everything, but they came back to us and just said that they were keen to go home," he said.