THE 2018 season is shaping up to be Jack Murchie’s biggest on the field to date, after being selected in the Australian squad for the 2018 Rugby League Commonwealth Championships.
Although last season included Australian and New South Wales under 20s honours, as well as being named in the National Youth Competition team of the year, the Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs product has been training the house down with the Canberra Raiders first grade group this preseason – in a hope to finally break through for his top grade debut.
“Preseason training has been awesome – I’m learning heaps of all the older boys and loving every second of it,” Murchie said.
“Training with the first grade group has taught be to maintain consistency with everything I do and how important it is to stay composed when you’re under pressure and the heat is on.
“Obviously a first grade debut is the main goal but that will come from consistent good performances in NSW Cup for the Mounties, so I’ll focus on that first and foremost.
“Coach Ricky Stuart and I have spoken about a couple of things he wants to improve on, to ensure I keep pushing for a spot in the top 17 – so I’ll just keep doing that and let the rest take care of itself.”
Before the Mounties season starts on Saturday, March 10 against St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium, Murchie will head to Queensland, where he will join up with his Australian Commonwealth Championships team mates and coach Adrian Lam, ahead of the competition at Redcliffe's Dolphin Stadium on February 23-24.
“It’s awesome to be named in the Australian side once again,” Murchie said.
“I played in the last tournament four years ago in Scotland and we came home with the silver medal, just going down to Papua New Guinea in the final – so it will be awesome to try pick up the gold this time.
“I’m expecting to play fast flowing footy against a number of top class players – I can’t wait to get into it.
“Anytime you get chosen to represent your country is something special, so this will be an awesome experience and one to remember.”
Murchie and the squad, which will participate in the exhibition nine-a-side (under 23) tournament, head into camp next week in Brisbane.
Australia has been included in Pool A, alongside Fiji, Scotland and Wales.
Australian squad: Corey Allan, Jade Anderson, Michael Carroll, Scott Drinkwater, David Fifita, Brendan Frei, Harry Grant, Luke Huth, Paul Momirovski, Jack Murchie, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Ky Rodwell, Hayden Schwass, Luke Sharpe and Katoni Staggs.