ProfileSam Wykes is a mobile lock who is developing into an increasingly influential member of the Emirates Western Force forward pack. Still only 24, Wykes already has five seasons of Super Rugby under his belt having made his debut as a 19-year-old against the Cheetahs in 2008. Now one of the ‘young veterans’ within the side, Wykes is developing into a proven lineout technician having served his apprenticeship under former captain and Wallabies legend, Nathan Sharpe. The 2012 season proved a frustrating one for Wykes, who was forced to contend with three separate injuries allowing him to only play three matches, before a knee reconstruction ended his year. Easily identifiable with his distinctive hair do, Wykes was on track to join the elite group to have played 50 games for the Emirates Western Force prior to last season’s run of injuries – a milestone he will look to achieve in 2013. Timeline2005Captains NSW Combined Catholic Colleges; selected for the Australian Schoolboys side that tours the UK and Ireland, defeating England Under 19 (24-12) and Ireland Under 19 (17-11).2006 Member of the Waratahs Academy; member of the undefeated Australian side that wins the IRB Under 19 World Championship, including starting at lock in the 17-13 win over New Zealand in the final in Dubai.2007 Member of the Waratahs Academy; was a standout for Australia in his second IRB Junior World Championship in Ireland, voted Players’ Player and starting in their 25-21 win over Wales in the third/fourth play-off; played first grade for Sydney Shute Shield side Parramatta; represented the West Sydney Rams in the Australian Rugby Championship, including starting at lock in their 23-3 semi-final loss to the Melbourne Rebels.2008Makes his Super Rugby debut against the Cheetahs in Week Two; plays nine matches in his debut Super Rugby season; starts all four matches for the Australian Under 20 side in the IRB Junior World Championship, including their 42-21 fifth/sixth play-off win over France in Cardiff.2009Misses the first six matches of the competition after off-season shoulder surgery; plays six matches during the Super Rugby season.2010Plays 10 matches for the Emirates Western Force, missing two through a quadriceps injury.2011Plays all 16 matches for the Emirates Western Force, starting in all but two; scores his maiden Super Rugby try in a man-of-the-match performance against the Rebels in Perth; captains the Emirates Western Force in their opening 35-24 loss to Samoa in Apia.2012Captains the Emirates Western Force in their pre-season match against the Brumbies; misses the first match of the Super Rugby season with a hamstring injury; suffers an ankle injury in the Week Five match against the Rebels; plays three matches for the Emirates Western Force; suffers a season-ending knee injury at training, requiring a reconstruction.
25 MAY 2013
24 MAY 2013