LACHLAN Stewart and Mitch Winslade believe their foray into this year’s NSW Combined Catholic Colleges under 16s rugby union outfit is a perfect opportunity to rub shoulders with a few future Wallabies.
And who could blame them.
A pathway that has generated rugby union stars the likes of Kurtley Beale and, before that, Matt Burke, there’s every chance Stewart and Winslade will be rucking and mauling against Australia’s next superstars at this month’s NSW All Schools championships.
There’s also every chance the two James Sheahan Catholic High School students will be the ones blitzing it past their opposition.
Playing for Orange City Lions every Saturday throughout winter, the pair will be looking to hold their own against some of the best talent in the state when NSWCCC under 16s takes to the field at Warriewood’s Pittwater Rugby Park on June 15.
“This is the kind of the competition to be at, the schoolboys champs,” Stewart said.
“That’s the big one.”
“Lots of future Wallabies will be there, I hope,” Winslade added.
Shining in a selection pool 130-strong to earn a place in the NSWCCC 23-man squad, both Stewart and Winslade enjoyed their first run with the team last Sunday.
Normally a five-eighth or inside centre, Stewart will play halfback for the NSWCCC outfit, while more accustomed to the backrow, Winslade has earned a place in the squad as a reserve secondrower.
Up against the likes of NSW Country and the AICES under 16s sides, the versatility of both will be immensely tested when they next take to the field.
Stewart said he wasn’t concerned about playing out of position.
“You nominate at positions and we’re placed into teams based on that,” he said.
“I kind of just threw my hand up for halfback and went with it really.”
The NSW Schoolboys championships resumes on Sunday, June 15, at Pittwater Rugby Park before moving to Knox Grammar, Turramurra, on Sunday, June 22.