When the British and Irish Lions next tour our shores in 2025, Matthew Sandell might be there in the middle of the action.
Sandell will be 30 when the best from the United Kingdom and Ireland come back to Australia.
Although it is a hypothetical (at this stage), it could become a reality if the former Mudgee junior continues the way he has.
The St Joseph’s College first XV captain has been selected in the Australian Schoolboys rugby team for the second consecutive year.
Sandell was one of the 23 players chosen in the squad to play in a tri-nations tournament against Fijian Schools and New Zealand Schools in October.
The squad was picked at the conclusion of the Australian Schools Championship in Sydney on Saturday.
Former Mudgee resident Paul Geddes will be the manager of the team.
Sandell was playing for NSW (1) and his team took out the tournament by beating NSW (2) 20-12 at St Ignatius College, Riverview.
“It was great and I’m very happy to be selected again,” said Sandell from Coffs Harbour where he is attending a rugby camp with his school.
Last year the 18-year-old was in the final 28-man Australian Schoolboys squad who went on a three-week tour of Fiji and New Zealand.
They played six matches and won four of them – Tonga 70-13, Fiji 29-12, Samoa 80-7 and New Zealand 16-14. They were beaten by Fijian President’s XV 18-9 and New Zealand Barbarians 24-5.
Sandell is joined in the Australian team by 11 of his NSW (1) teammates.
The side went through the week long competition undefeated.
They played Western Australia first up and won 64-8.
On day two they put Combined States to the sword, 43-12, and on day three they got over Queensland (2) 39-24.
The two NSW sides finished on top of their respective pools, which meant they played in the decider.
It was the first all-NSW final since 2002 and NSW (1) were hoping to win back-to-back titles.
NSW (1) scored early through Andrew Kellaway; his try under the posts was from a clever offload from Andrew Deegan.
Harry Jones converted and later added a second try for NSW (1) to open up a 12-0 advantage.
NSW (2) fought back in the opening minutes of the second half with Joey Lussick scoring and converting his own try to cut the deficit to five points.
A second try to Kellaway eased the pressure on NSW (1) before Elliot Jennings grabbed the last try of the match for NSW (2) to take the score to 20-12.
“It was a tough week with some pretty hard games,” Sandell said.
Sandell shifts his focus to captaining his school rugby side in the Greater Public Schools (GPS) competition.
A recent change in format means the school competition is now a 10-game home and away series.
Joey’s defeated Shore in their first game but loss to rivals Riverview in their second.
Sandell scored a try in their loss to Riverview.
He said it was a huge honour to be named the skipper of the first XV.
Joey’s play competition leaders Newington in round three on July 20.
n AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLBOYS: Matthew Sandell, Joshua Anderson, Lachlan Cannell, Andrew Deegan, Junior Fakaosilea, Vunipola Fifita, Ned Hanigan, Adrian Henley, Henry Hutchison, Harry Jones, Andrew Kellaway, Alex Mafi, Jack McCalman, Connal McInerney, Taane Milne, Tepai Moeroa, Fereti Sa’aga, Faaope Satui, Mitchell Short, Moses Sorovi, Mitch Third, Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, Brad Wilkin.