HE was wearing black on Saturday but come this Saturday it’ll be the green and gold Moree five-eighth John Porch will be donning.
Porch flies out today with his Australian Schoolboys team-mates for their tour of Fiji and New Zealand.
He’s been down in Sydney since Monday training and couldn’t have got a better going away present than he got at Walcha on Saturday – a premiership.
It was Porch’s third in as many seasons after winning with the Tamworth U19s last year and U17s the year before but this one was extra special.
He got to share it with his school-mates, with the Farrer firsts making up most of the Bulls side.
“It was a good way to finish off the season, and with all my mates from school,” Porch said.
Most of them have been playing together since they were in Year 7 or 8, and will be finishing up this year.
The day before the grand final they’d been down in Sydney playing in the State Schoolboys Sevens Finals.
Last year Porch and his Farrer team-mates made it all the way to the nationals.
They were hoping for one last hurrah there again but just missed out, finishing fourth.
Still, it was a good experience, Porch said, and there may be more to come out of it for some of them, him included, after being talent-identified.
On Saturday they came out with a real urgency.
“Last time we struggled in the first half. This week we stepped up in the first half which gave us a good platform,” Porch said.
“Once we got the first couple of tries we started to look really dominant.”
And they didn’t stop, to win 44-15 over, ironically, the Magpies.
Porch directed them well and scored just on half-time, stepping back on the inside of the Magpie defence.
He learnt of his national selection last month and can’t wait to get over there.
“It’s going to be a good experience, one that doesn’t happen to a lot of people,” he said.
The tour will see them playing five games and what should be tough games.
“We play Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand. They’ll all be pretty big and physical,” he said.
They start with the Fijian Presidents XV on Saturday, then tackle the Fijian Schools, New Zealand Barbarians in Auckland, Samoan Schools in Hamilton, and then New Zealand Schools in Auckland on October 6.
It will be the start of a busy couple of months for Porch.
The day he gets back he’s meeting with a few Sydney clubs about playing with them next season, then it will be into full-scale exam mode.
“I come back on the seventh. Then I’ve got a week until I start my HSC,” he said.
He finishes on November 2.
It’s been a big effort to make the Australian side and meant a lot of travel. At one stage Porch was in Sydney four weeks in a row.
The Northern Inland Academy of Sport and Moree have both stepped in to help him out, with the NIAS recently presenting him with a cheque for $500 and the Bulls providing $200 to help out with the costs.
“Both of those endorsements have been a great help,” he said.