Photograph: JODIE RICHTER - Canberra Times
FOR the second year in a row former Shoalhaven rugby player Alec Bishop is set to wear the green and gold of Australia.
Bishop, who now attends Erindale Senior College at Tuggeranong in the ACT, was named in the Australian Schoolboys team which will face Japan in August.
Bishop played a starring role for the ACT side at the 2005 Novotel Australian Championships which were staged in Canberra over the last week.
NSW I won the championships with a 20-10 win over Queensland I, with two tries to centre Andrew Barrett from Illawarra Sports High School .
Bishop has been named at inside centre in the 23-man Australian squad which will face the Japanese side at Scots College in Sydney on August 18.
It will be the start of a busy period for the young Australian team, which will also have matches against the Samoan and New Zealand Schoolboys.
And there is a big carrot dangling for all the players involved as at the end of the year there is a planned Australian Schoolboys tour of England and Ireland.
In taking out the tournament, NSW has also had 10 of its players selected in a 23-man Australian Schoolboys team to play Japan.
Bishop and his former Shoals team mate Ben Blakely, who is now living in New Zealand were named on last year's Australian Schoolboys' teams.
Bishop was a member of the Australian side, which beat the touring Irish Schoolboys in Canberra 23-12 and was right in the thick of the action scoring one of the Aussies' four tries.
The lads also gained selection in the 26-man Australian Schoolboys side, which toured Samoa and New Zealand.
The young Aussies undertook five matches on the tour and were successful in winning four - their only loss was in the last match of the tour against arch rivals the New Zealand Schoolboys.
Bishop moved to the ACT earlier in the year to complete his schooling and was quickly snapped up by the ACT Rugby and Canberra Club the Tuggeranong Vikings.
After a couple of matches in the juniors he was quickly promoted to first grade and played three matches in the centres.
Bishop has made the move from his usual outside centre to the role of No 12 (inside centre), closer to the action and the move is certainly paying dividends with him playing brilliantly at the national championships.
He has also bulked up considerably, last year he was playing at 84 kilograms and at the moment is tipping the scales between 92 and 94kg.
And while his attack ability has never been in question, it is Bishop's strong defence that certainly caught the selectors' eye.
His efforts in containing the talented NSW backs saw the competition champions only beat the ACT 15-5.
There are plenty of interesting angles within the Australian Schoolboys team.
Prop Jonathan Salvi is the brother of Brumby and Australian under 21 breakaway Julian Salvi.
The Northern Territory has supplied an Australian Schoolboy in flanker Joey Egan from Casuarina Senior College in Darwin.
Joey was on the bench for the Aussie Mozzies' match against Samoa where he enjoyed 10 minutes of game time.
Prop Daniel Roach is the son of league identity Steve "Blocker" Roach, while lock Phil Mathers is the son of Wallaby Mick Mathers.
Brett Stapleton was the Australian under 18 sprint champion in 2003 at the age of 16 and recently signed with the Western Force in Perth.
His personal best time over 100 metres is 10.33 seconds.
Prop Ben Daley is the son of Australian Rugby League player Phil Daley who won the 1987 NRL premiership with Manly.
Daniel Linde was Queensland cham-pion in the 100m freestyle and came third in the Nationals last year.