Talented local footy player Zac Cini is following in the footsteps of some famous alumni after he became the latest St Dominic’s College student to be selected in the Australian Schoolboys Rugby League team.
The 18-year-old St Clair resident now hopes to follow the same path that former St Dominic’s students turned NRL stars Nathan Cleary and Blake Austin did after they too were selected as Australian Schoolboys many years ago.
Speaking with the Weekender this week, the popular Year 12 student said it took a while for him to realise what he had just achieved.
“When I learned of my selection it didn’t really sink in at first, it was pretty surreal. I guess I didn’t really understand the significance of it until a few days later,” Zac said.
“Playing in the Australian Schoolboys team sets you up pretty well. It gets your name out there a bit and gives you an opportunity to further your career.”
Zac, whose rugby league idol is NSW Origin star Tom Trbojevic, was chosen to don the green and gold after impressing in the recent Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League 18 Years National Championship Final, where his NSWCCC team defeated NSWCHS 28-14.
Zac was named Man of the Match in the emphatic win.
Playing at fullback and centre growing up, Zac will represent Australia on the wing when his side travels to Europe this November for an extensive tour of England and France.
“We go on a three-day camp from November 17 before flying to England for a five-week tour – it’s really exciting,” Zac said.
But before Zac jets to the other side of the world, he’s firmly focused on finishing his HSC and cracking Penrith’s high-flying Jersey Flegg team.
After being crowned a National Champion with the club’s SG Ball side earlier this year, Zac is well on his way to a successful career in rugby league.
“After playing in the Panthers’ SG Ball team, a couple of us were brought into the Jersey Flegg squad. I’ve been 18th man a few times and got to warm up on the field,” Zac said.
“The higher the grade, the more professional it becomes, and you learn a lot more.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.