Troy Patea has played rugby for as long as he can remember.
“Basically my whole life,” the 11-year-old said.
At the end of the month the St Clair Public School student will represent the NSW Primary School Sports Association rugby union team in Darwin.
“I played rugby union in New Zealand and I came to Australia when I was seven,” Troy said.
“That’s when I started playing league too because Dad couldn’t find me a union team [straight away].
“So I play league for the St Clair comets and union for Penrith RSL.”
Troy represented the Sydney West rugby union team in late August. Following the competition he was selected in the NSW team.
“I’m really excited,” he said.
“My Dad wanted me to make it so bad.”
St Clair Public School sports co-ordinator Malcolm Hath said he is very proud of Troy.
“I’m immensely proud of Troy, it’s an enormous achievement and as a teacher, I get immense satisfaction seeing my students do well,” he said.
“It's absolutely fantastic.”
Troy was also awarded the Sydney West Spirit of Rugby award for his conduct both on and off the field.
“I play half-back – so I do lots of passing. I feed the ball into the scrum and pick it up in the ruck.”
St Clair Public School held a footy fan mufti day last week with the gold coin donations going towards Troy’s trip. The P&C have also donated and he is currently selling raffle tickets so that his mother and father can both go to Darwin to watch him play.
“I’m still trying to think of something to make up for what school has done to say thank you,” he said.
The NSW PSSA rugby union team will compete in the Australian National Championships in Darwin from September 25-30.