PROMISING rugby union player, Angus Clark, has played his way into a NSW jersey.
The power forward, following the recent City versus Country game in Tamworth, was named, in the 23 NSW Junior Rugby Union Under 17’s team.
He will be joined by 13 of his country team mates.
Clark, a strong prop, said selection was an honour.
“I set my sights on getting selected in the NSW Country under 17s team this season, after getting called in to the NSW Country Under 15’s squad to tour Fiji two years ago,” he said.
“To go one better and get selected to play for NSW is extra special.”
“It was also extra special to play on Scully Park where my dad Gordon played 20 years.
“Dad won a NSW Country Championship with the Illawarra Senior team, before he went on to represent the NSW Country senior team later that year.”
At this stage Clark is waiting to find out what the NSW program will involve.
However, it’s likely to include at least one game, against a Brisbane or Queensland side and also a possible training camp with the 2014 Super Rugby champions the Waratahs.
Meanwhile, while the Shoalhaven Rugby senior teams are having a tough season, Clark has been enjoying a fine year.
The 16-year—old, who plays for Shoalhaven Rugby’s Under 17’s team, was part of the NSW Country Junior Rugby Union Under 17’s that played their Sydney counterparts recently at Scully Park, Tamworth as part of the annual City/Country junior rugby matches.
The Country Under 17’s went into the match on the back of impressive wins in their warm up games against Country Under 18’s, the Gold Coast Cyclones and a Canberra Wests Under 18’s team.
When the country team was announced the night before the City/Country game, Clark was named in the starting side at tight-head prop, having started on the bench in two of the earlier games.
The Country Under 17’s started the game against Sydney with some strong defence and managed to go in to the half time break leading 14-nil after scoring two converted tries.
What made this even more impressive was that the Junior Cockatoos were down to 13 men for a part of the half due to yellow cards for persistent infringements. The Country team came out firing in the second half, blowing the Sydney side off the park with a combination of centre field raids and tries scored out wide. Country won 40-7 victory and were presented with the City/Country trophy by former Wallaby and country boy, Tom Bowman.
The Under 17’s were the only Country team to register a win on the day, with the Under 14’s and 15’s going to Sydney and a draw in the Under 16’s.
Clark played a significant part in the victory, playing the entire first half and a large part of the second half and was part of a Country forward pack that completely outplayed their Sydney counterparts.
Clark said he was happy with the way he played and was thrilled to be part of a victorious Country side as it had been a number of years since Country had won the Under 17’s age group.
“To win it so convincingly was great,” he said.
It has been a busy year rugby wise for Clark.
He started the year playing for the Illawarra Under 17’s team that took part in the Australian Rugby Union’s inaugural Junior Gold Cup and captained the side in its opening two games.
He then moved on to the Illawarra team that contested the NSW Country Junior Rugby Under 17’s Championships in Dubbo, where they finished in third place after close losses to the finalists Newcastle and Central Coast.
Following these championships, Clark was one of nine Illawarra players named in the NSW Country Under 17’s squad.
Clark was then part of the South Coast team that took part in the NSW Combined High Schools Carnival in Newcastle, where he played he played without a break in the teams four games.
The South Coast team finished in a respectable seventh place and had two wins and two losses.
While Clark waits to hear what his NSW rugby commitments will be, he is happy to be back playing for the Shoalhaven Rugby’s Under 17’s team that are currently sitting in third sport in the Illawarra District Rugby Competition.