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Ex-gridiron junior Gill a Wallaby chance
Ben Horne
20:56 AEST Tue Jul 24 2012
Liam Gill
Queensland rookie Liam Gill, who played gridiron as a junior, has made the Wallabies training camp.

Queensland flanker Liam Gill is aiming to force his way into the Wallabies squad for the Rugby Championship after making an unusual cross-code switch as a junior.

The son of former St George and Gold Coast rugby league player Peter Gill was introduced to contact sport on the gridiron fields of Portland, Oregon, where he lived for four years during his childhood.

But after starting his athletic development as a running back and line-backer aged 7-11, Gill has long since ditched the helmet and pads for the Reds' No.7 jersey.

There's no doubt the 20-year-old has taken a left-field path to Robbie Deans' training camp in Sydney this week.

Born in Melbourne before moving to the US for his father's work, Gill returned to play junior rugby in Adelaide.

Now he's determined to take the next big step in his career and learn all he can from star David Pocock in camp and push for selection in the final squad.

"He's (Pocock) set the benchmark and he's arguably the best in the world so you'd be crazy not to try and understand what he does," said Gill, who is happy with his new code but still keeping a keen eye on mates back in America who are now playing college football.

"It's more excitement to find out you're even considered a part of this set up (Wallabies train-on squad) ... It's a big onslaught of information then they throw you in the deep end and get you out there and do it and it's a good way to learn.

"Just take it on board and learn the hard way and pick up on the vibe of the other blokes and how they go about things."

As a 17-year-old, Gill was the youngest player to represent Australia at an IRB Junior World Championship. He's shown enormous leadership potential as a youngster as well, captaining Australia's U20s team last year.


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