The Illawarra rugby league junior production line is showing no signs of slowing down, with a host of local footballers preparing to compete at the upcoming Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League Championships.
The region will be well-represented across both the under 15s and opens competitions, with Illawarra Sports High alone having six students selected for the two Combined High Schools teams.
Illawarra Sports High quartet Aaron Schoup, Junior Amone, Matthew Feagai and Max Feagai were all selected for the CHS opens team.
For Schoup the selection was the result of years and hard work and a reward for his decision to remain at school.
"It was a pretty big honour," Schoup said. "After I made the under 15s team, it's been a goal of mine for the last few years to get picked in the opens team.
"This goal is probably what's kept me at school, aiming to make this team. Illawarra Sports High has helped me a massive amount with keeping me at school. We can get away from the books to train on Tuesdays and Thursdays and they give us opportunities to make teams."
The opens tournament will be played in Canberra from the 14th of July, with CHS opening their competition on the Monday against a Combined Catholic Colleges side featuring Edmund Rice College students Jesse Colquhoun and Thomas Rodwell.
The Australian Under 15 Championships will be contested in Redcliffe from June 30, with the CHS team featuring Illawarra Sports High students Ethan Cliff and Zak Maarbani, Dapto's Callum Leikvoll and Kiama pair Jack Quine and Dylan Egan.
Cliff said the nerves have increased as the tournament has approached, but he's excited to play alongside so many fellow South Coast representatives.
"It felt heaps good to be picked," Cliff said. "I was picked at fullback, so I was pretty happy with that. It's my first NSW team and I haven't played people at this level before, so I'll have to adapt to the competition."
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