- 22 Age
- 122kg Weight
- 189cm Height
A powerfully framed, New Zealand-born hooker, Jordan Uelese was just two years of age and not yet out of nappies when he suited up for the Oriental Rongotai RFC’s U6s alongside All Black #1147 Ardie Savea. The fourth of five boys he grew up in Wellington and idolised the late, great Jerry Collins before the family moved to Melbourne in 2008. In his first season of senior football Uelese had played just twenty eight minutes of Super Rugby for the Rebels in three brief stints off the bench before he was plucked from relatively public obscurity and into the 2017 Wallaby squad.
He was then thrown into the proverbial deep end on debut against South Africa in Perth but came through the experience with an enhanced reputation. Coach Michael Cheika said: "I thought he did pretty well. He got in there first scrum, did really well. He had a good lineout … hit the mark. He's a talent. With the guys fatiguing a little bit I thought he added a lot of steel in the front row at the scrum." Uelese said of his debut Test: “My No.1 goal in life was to put on that gold jersey and to fulfil that ... I’ve got to go find new goals now.” Injury cruelled his 2018 season however a successful return to Super Rugby with the Rebels in 2019 has earned him a place in the Wallaby squad for The Rugby Championship.
Selected in the Australian U20s squad for the tenth-annual IRB Junior World Championship tournament in Georgia where he played in all five matches. Uelese won his first Test cap off the bench when starting hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau temporarily left the field in just the 18th minute of the 23-23, 1st Test draw with South Africa at nib Stadium. He picked up a second replacement cap, and his first international try, one week later in the 45-20, 1st Test victory over Argentina in Canberra.
Uelese was named in the Wallaby squad for the opening Test of the home series against Ireland. Tragically he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee playing for the Rebels against Auckland the weekend before the first Irish Test and as a result missed the entire international season.