Former Wanganui High School first-five Sam Malcolm has been named in the New Zealand Under 20s training squad.
Malcolm played for the WHS 1st XV last season before moving to Palmerston North to attend the Massey University rugby institute.
He played Manawatu premier club rugby for Varsity this season and was selected for the Manawatu Under 19s.
Malcolm said making the national squad had been a goal. "It's pretty awesome news to hear, coming from Wanganui."
His aim would be to impress at training and make the final squad for the world cup in Italy next year. "You don't go into it thinking you're not going to make the team." While he has mainly played first five in recent years, he has been picked as a halfback for the camp. First five would be his preferred position but he said he would take any opportunity to earn national honours. "I think they just wanted to see me play as halfback."
WHS director of rugby Chris Friedel said Malcolm's selection was no surprise.
"He's a little magician. He's small but he can tackle," he said.
Friedel said his kicking range had been turing heads to with a 50-plus-metre kick impressing those at the Massey Rugby Institute.
"He's unassuming, but he's talented."
"He absolutely deserves everything that comes his way, he's got such a great work ethic."
Friedel said he was a stand-out for the WHS team and had got them out of a few tight patches. "Expect good things from a Wanganui born and bred man."
Further camps and games are planned to select the squad for the 2015 Junior World Championships next June in Italy.