Japan-bound Melbourne Rebels rugby star eyes the prize


Jack Debreczeni is taking a detour on his mission to become a Wallaby. He's hoping a season in Japan's second tier with the Honda Heat may be just the thing he needs while the rugby scene in Australia enters a period of contraction.

Jack Debreczeni knows a thing or two about travelling. He was born in Auckland to a father with Chilean heritage and a New Zealand-born mother of Cook Island descent.

Now 24 years old he's spent plenty of time visiting family around the world. But his next journey is all about rugby. 

Jack Debreczeni in an Australian Schoolboys team meeting
Jack Debreczeni has already represented Australia at Schoolboy level. But what he really wants is to wear the Wallaby jersey
Supplied by family

His Melbourne Rebels team along with the Western Force are facing up to the reality that one of the them won't be playing Super Rugby next season.

Which partly explains why Jack has chosen to go to Japan at the end of the current season.

He told SBS World News: "I've always wanted to go overseas but definitely there's players at the club with uncertainty."

His father Michael was born in Chile after Jack's grandfather left Hungary following World War Two.

He's confident Jack's diverse heritage is an asset as he looks to make the most of his chance in Japan.

Michael used to play for the West Harbour Pirates and it was while his son watched him for hour after hour that Jack become devoted to rugby.

"He's a very adaptable young man and that's the good thing about Jack," Michael told SBS World News.


Proud father Michael Debreczeni
Proud father Michael Debreczeni also played for and now coaches Jack's former West Harbour Colts team.

And Debreczeni junior is hoping that the career detour to Japan will ultimately help him fulfill his dream of one day wearing a Wallabies jersey.

"I don't think I'm finished with Super Rugby and the goal is to one day put on the green and gold jersey," he said.

He's already had the honour of representing the Australian Schoolboys side, but if he continues with the same calm determination, it wouldn't come as a huge surprise if he one day makes the grade as a Wallaby. 

Source SBS

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