It's fair to suggest Hawke's Bay rugby prop Patrick Teddy has had a dream first season out of the secondary school ranks.
Napier Boys' High School product Teddy, 19, was a key member of the Napier Old Boys Marist club side which won the Maddison Trophy, the most prestigious piece of silverware in Hawke's Bay's premier club competition last month, and finished the season with nine tries. He was also named forward of the year for the side at the club's prizegiving earlier this month.
"This year has been a good launching pad and while I've achieved many of my goals there's a couple of big ones still to come," Teddy said.
"I want to have a solid campaign with the Hawke's Bay under-19s at next month's national tournament in Taupo and gain selection in the first training camp for next year's New Zealand under-20 team and I hope to crack the Magpies squad within the next couple of years," Teddy explained.
One of four Hawke's Bay players in the New Zealand Marist Colts side which is on a four-match tour of Poverty Bay and Hawke's Bay, Teddy, is relishing the opportunity to receive tips from the team's head coach Steve McDowall who played 81 matches, including 46 tests for the All Blacks from 1985 to 1992.
"Steve has taught me plenty when it comes to scrummaging. He has stressed the little things can be big things and body position is important," Teddy said.
McDowall, 57, coached the North Harbour Marist premier team this season.
An inspirational figure for the Napier Boys' High School 1st XV which finished second at the National Top Four competition last year, Teddy, also made the Hurricanes under-18 squad and New Zealand Secondary Schools Barbarians team last year. The former Hawke's Bay Ross Shield and Hawke's Bay under-16 rep is enjoying the tour with his latest national team.
"We're playing some entertaining rugby and are doing pretty well for a team which was just put together at the weekend."
The youngest of the Bay quartet, Teddy, had 25 minutes off the bench at hooker in Saturday's 79-21 drubbing of the Poverty Bay Development team in Gisborne. On Monday he had 70 minutes as the starting tighthead prop and scored a try in a 29-7 victory against a Wairoa Selection in Wairoa.
He is expecting to mark some familiar players including clubmate Lee Moleli when the tourists take on a combined Hastings Rugby and Sports-Napier Old Boys Marist Colts XV at Elwood Park from 6pm today and a Saracens XV in the curtainraiser to the Magpies Mitre 10 Cup Championship match against the Wellington Lions at Napier's McLean Park on Friday night.
After this tour the apprentice builder's attention will return to the Hawke's Bay under-19 team's campaign.
"We've developed a good bond at trainings and I'm looking forward to that tournament," he added.
The Hastings Rugby and Sports trio of loosie Fale Matamata, lock JJ Scales and first five-eighth Shamara Brooks are the other Bay players in the New Zealand Marist Colts team. Hastings-based New Zealand Marist Rugby Federation general manager Neil Murphy said all four Bay players have performed well to date and he has been impressed with how well the squad has gelled during the short time it has been together.
Players from all 31 New Zealand Marist clubs are represented in the squad. The concept of the New Zealand Marist Colts tour began in 1974 and each year a different region of the country is visited.