ORANGE’S Jack Bastick and Zach Pumpurs are one step closer to their dream of playing in the NRL.
The CYMS under 16 pair recently signed contracts with the Canberra Raiders and Canterbury Bulldogs respectively, and received rural scholarships from the clubs as well.
The scholarship allows Bastick and Pumpurs to finish their schooling in Orange while training once a fortnight with the clubs’ junior bases.
When the pair finish their Higher School Certificates they will become a part of their respective clubs’ SG Ball (under 18s) squads.
Bastick and Pumpurs’ clubs will assist in moving the pair to their respective cities, and helping them adapt to life as a rugby league player.
Bastick explained his manager had scouted him early, while Pumpurs was picked up through the representative ranks.
“My manager helped me through a lot of the process,” Bastick said.
“But I know scouts were watching our Group 10 games, and the trials for things like New South Wales CCC (Combined Catholic Colleges).”
“We were both in the Western Rams Academy last year too, which would’ve helped,” Pumpurs added.
Bastick had several clubs chasing his signature including the Penrith Panthers, Parramatta Eels and the Bulldogs.
“I thought Canberra was the best fit for me,” he said.
“I wouldn’t be at the level I’m at now without everything I’ve learnt at Canberra. The difference in professionalism is huge, and in the physical side of it. The training I’ve done so far with Canberra has improved my game heaps.”
Pumpurs said it was a once in a lifetime opportunity with Canterbury.
“I’m stoked to be with the Bulldogs,” he said.
“ I’m looking forward to training at that level, and learning. It’s a massive opportunity to improve my game personally as well.”
The pair will play for CYMS this winter, in both under 16s and under 18s.
“We’ll both be backing up for the senior side most weeks I think,” Bastick said.
“Hopefully we can bring some of the experience back to CYMS, and maybe help out a few of the other boys with what we learn,” Pumpurs added.