Josh Kemeny

  • 24Age
  • 193 cmHeight
  • 110 kgWeight
PositionBackrow
Date Of BirthNovember 29, 1998
Place of BirthSydney
SchoolCranbrook School
Debut ClubUniversity (Sydney)
ProvinceMelbourne Rebels
Debut Test Match2023 vs. Argentina, Sydney
Caps1

Josh Kemeny, a powerful, big-bodied and mobile blindside flanker was reported to be as surprised as anyone to find his name listed under “Utilities” in the Wallaby squad for the 2023 Rugby Championship. “We want Kemeny to play seven, six and on the wing. He’s quick enough to play on the wing”, coach Eddie Jones said. Perhaps Jones knew more than he let on at the time given the fact that 17 years earlier Kemeny had played his first ever rugby, for the McCauley Primary / Easts U8s, as a winger.

“A tall, rangy guy, good in the air" and a tireless defender, Kemeny eventually found a home in the backrow during his secondary education at Cranbrook. He played two seasons in the 1st XV (2015-16), the second as captain, and from there earned selection for New South Wales Schools 1 (2016).

In 2018, Kemeny represented Australia in the World Rugby U20 Championship in France alongside Fraser McReight, Len Ikitau, Ryan Lonergan, Tate McDermott and Jordan Petaia. That same year he enrolled to study a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Management at the University of Technology, Sydney.

The following season Melbourne Rebels coach Dave Wessels travelled north to cast an eye over University of Sydney and NSW hooker Tom Horton however he came away waxing lyrical about the Students’ number six - Josh Kemeny. Once the final whistle blew on Uni’s 21-16 Shute Shield victory over Warringah, Wessels swooped in to secure the signature of the “20-year-old wunderkind”, “boom backrower” for at least three years.

Kemeny made his Super Rugby debut in the 2020, 23-31 opening round loss to the Brumbies before he enjoyed a “breakout 2021 campaign” to be one of several “bolters” in Dave Rennie's first Wallaby squad. Unfortunately, Injury intervened when Kemeny ventured to Brisbane to play club footy at Wests. Fifteen minutes into his first game he made a line break, stepped off his left at full speed and suffered a devastating anterior cruciate ligament rupture. Complications from a post-surgery tendon graft saw him miss the next 16 months.

After “a long rehab” Kemeny returned to top form in 2023. "To find some confidence and stay on the park this year was my goal and everything that's come with it [Wallaby squad selection] has been a massive bonus. To get my foot through the door and my name on the list, that was all I cared about and I'm just going to work from there." There is no doubt, regardless of the number on his back, that if given the chance Kemeny will not let his side down.

Josh Kemeny RWC 2023