JACK Wighton had a taste of what it’s like to prepare for State of Origin on the weekend.
The Orange product was one of 32 players involved in the NSW Rugby League Origin Pathways camp at Narrabeen.
NSW Origin coach Laurie Daley ran the three-day camp which included skills sessions and guest speakers.
“It was awesome. It was so much fun,” Wighton said.
“We had a couple of field sessions doing ball work.
“Benny Elias came and spoke to us about what Origin means and our opportunities in the future.”
Wighton, who is in pre-season training with the Canberra Raiders, said he took plenty from the three days.
“It was good to do a bit of bonding with a few of the boys,” he said.
“We got to meet some pretty important people. With the skills sessions we learnt a few new moves too.”
Wighton is no stranger to representative footy.
In 2010 he was selected in the Australian Schoolboys side.
Last year he was selected as the NSW under 18s captain when the side took on Queensland.
In October this year he was selected in the Junior Kangaroos.
Despite this experience, Wighton couldn’t get used to having league legend Daley right in front of him.
“It was pretty nerve-racking having such a great player watching you,” the 19-year-old said.
Wighton is training with the Canberra Raiders NRL squad in preparation for the 2013 season.
The teenager had a see-sawing 2012 season with the Raiders due to injury.
All up Wighton played nine NRL games for the Raiders this year and scored two tries, while also making 69 tackles and taking 80 hit- ups.
The 2013 season might be months away but the Raiders aren’t taking it easy.
“We train five days a week and it’s been really intense,” Wighton explained.
“We’ve been knuckling down with the fitness big time.
“We have three weeks’ training until Christmas. Then we have two weeks off.”
Wighton will visit family in Orange for Christmas and said he hasn’t been put on eating restrictions over the holiday season. “I’m all right. I don’t know about the forwards but I’m all right,” he laughed.