For the past week, Andrew Romano has been going head-to-head with the best young rugby players in the country.
The Orange City product was recently selected in the Junior Wallabies training camp which are currently preparing for a hybrid of the Oceania U20s Championship, following World Rugby's cancellation of the World Rugby U20s Championship later in the year.
Romano moved to Queensland in 2018 at just 16 years old when he was given an opportunity with the Brisbane Boys College side.
Three years later and the prop is a member of the QLD Reds academy and has Super Rugby in his sights.
"It was a ridiculously different level and completely different to what I was used to," he said of the quality of rugby in QLD compared to the Central West.
"But I suppose over time you adjust and you just get better as a player just playing around other good players as well.
"Coming from home, you're used to playing in cold weather and then you come up here, you're playing in 30 degree heat with the humidity, so it's very different."
The Junior Wallabies camp features players from both Super Rugby programs and state academies.
The Orange prop said it has been his goal to make the final cut as soon as he realised he was eligible for the team.
"Everyone is getting around it and having a red hot crack," he said.
"It's very competitive but at the same time a big bonding experience. Meeting all the boys from different states and training at such a high level, it's a great atmosphere."
The initial squad is made up of 47 players and will soon be cut down to a little more than 20.
Romano said is hopeful that if he performs at his peak, he will make the second team camp.
"I'm confident at the moment," he said.
"But going against all these other bigger props, I'm just trying to match their level and prove myself to the coaches. I'm not going too bad, but it's just a waiting game at the moment.
"The long term goal is to get called to the Super Rugby squad for the Reds and have a breakout year from there. But that all takes time and development."
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