Meet Jack Nicholas.
The 12-year-old St Matthew’s student is set to fly to Adelaide on Friday before representing NSW at the School Sports Australia 11-12 Years Rugby League Championships between August 11-18.
Jack put himself on the map during June’s PSSA Rugby League Championships at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Oval where he played for Polding – the Northern Catholic side.
A group of NSW scouts evaluated all 13 teams throughout the three-day tournament and even though Jack knew he was being assessed, he didn’t let it distract him.
“I knew they would be there but I was just trying to focus on playing the best footy I could. I wasn’t thinking about the scouts or anything,” he said.
Nicholas’ focus and determination saw him selected for the NSW playing group, something that was announced as soon as the tournament finished.
“I was very happy with it and I’m very excited to go,” he said.
The lead-up to Sunday’s tournament has featured a pair of training camps at Cronulla and Narrabeen, something that’s been an eye-opening experience for young Jack.
“The coaches at the team are really good and they teach us a lot,” he said.
“You just feel like you’ve gone that next step in footy.”
It’s no surprise that Jack is making a name for himself on the rugby league scene as he spent his days as a young bloke glued to the NRL on the TV.
After developing that initial interest, all it took to lure him in was a Mudgee Dragons flier he saw at school.
“There was a note that came around at school and I thought I’d have a crack at it,” he said.
He hasn’t stopped since.
Nicholas is set to come off the bench for the NSW side and after playing the PSSA campaign at prop, he feels like he’s returning to a more natural position in Adelaide.
“I’ll come off the bench and play in the number 11 or 12 spot. That suits me more,” he said.
Eight teams will play in Adelaide and Jack’s first two matches will be against Victoria and Queensland as his side looks to make it out of the group stage.