Jimmy Schwager thought he was being pranked when he was told he was wanted to sit on the bench for first grade for Pirates' season opener against Quirindi last week.
Fast forward seven days and the 17-year old will make his run-on debut after being named at six for what looms as one of the premiers' biggest tests - Moree at Moree.
Fellow teenager Will Sorenson (second row) and Mitch Dening (outside centre) will also make their debuts with Pirates coach Mat Kelly making five changes to the side that defeated the Lions 56-14.
Dening is one of a couple of new faces this season and Kelly is excited about seeing him in action.
"He's had a good pre-season," he said.
"I'm looking forward to what he can produce. He was a handy leagy."
Schwager's footy roots are similarly entrenched in league, although the Wee Waa native probably spent more time on horseback playing polocrosse than with a footy in his hand until his teen years.
He was introduced to rugby when he started as a boarder at Calrossy, and was hooked pretty well straight away.
"I loved it," he said.
After playing with Tamworth in his first season he was lured across to Pirates by a couple of his teachers - Pirates stalwarts Conrad Starr and Barton Leach.
With Schwager's ascension to first grade that has made for an interesting dynamic at training, one he is still adjusting to.
"He still says "Mr Starr" at training," Kelly said.
Still early in his rugby development, Schwager expected to just be playing under-19s again this season.
For Schwager just starting for second grade was beyond his expectations heading into the season.
"I thought it would be another similar year to last year, playing with my mates in the 19s," he said.
"Hopefully have a good season and win a premiership."
So much did his first grade call-up come as a surprise, he initially thought he was being set-up when, lining up to clap on the women's 7s side after making his senior debut in second grade, his coach told him he was on the bench for first grade.
"I'd been telling them (some of the first graders) that I was going to be playing with them - just as a joke," he said.
"When the coach tapped me on the shoulder I thought it was a prank."
He got about 20 minutes.
"It was a bit nerve-racking when I first went on," he said.
But after about five minutes he settled down and fittingly scored their final try.
Not afraid to call on the club's junior talent, Kelly was impressed by what he saw.
"He's got that x-factor about him," he said.
"He's one who could find himself playing a lot of first grade."
Schwager learnt he was going to be starting on Saturday at training on Tuesday.
"I was just training with the 19s and Mat (Kelly) came over. He said I just need to borrow one person," he said.
Not thinking much of it he nonchalantly continued training.
"Then he tapped me on the shoulder. He said you'll be making your first grade debut at six on Saturday," he said.
The ultimate 'Mr Versatile' Schwager can play anywhere, and just about has.
Last week he started for second grade at fullback before coming off the bench at six for first grade.
He's not really sure yet whether his best position is in the backs or the forwards, and is for now just "happy to play where they put me".
In the round's other fixtures, Gunnedah play host to Narrabri while Walcha are at home to Inverell, and Quirindi travel to Barraba.