Ben Grant might still be only in his teens but the Quirindi back looks more seasoned campaigner than first grade rookie.
Enjoying a gap year after graduating from Calrossy, the 18-year old has been one of the Lions best this season, picking up the players' player two of their first three games.
It is his first full season of first grade after playing a couple of games last year.
Making his debut against Gunnedah in the corresponding round last year he didn't look out of place.
Then 17 he scored the Lions lone try and showed some good touches in attack, and was judged by his peers as their best.
It was the fulfillment of a dream Grant had held since he was a starry-eyed youngster running up and down the sidelines.
"Where I could on a Saturday I remember I'd always put my hand up to be a ball boy," he recalled.
He said he always looked up to the first grade players, wanting to one day run out for the Lions like them.
To now be doing that he said is "very surreal".
"It's a great club to be around," he said.
"There's a lot of support with the older boys."
While the Lions are yet to post a win they have generally been a lot more competitive.
"There's a great atmosphere around the club, everyone is keen to have a crack," Grant said.
He has started in all five of the Lions games so far.
"I'm definitely enjoying it," he said.
"It is a lot harder. Bigger hits and a lot bigger bodies, and the pace of the game is a step up."
After playing in the centres the first two games, he switched to fullback in the Lions' narrow loss to Moree, which has presented a whole new set of challenges.
"It's different. You've got to communicate a lot more," Grant said.
"You've got to communicate back to the forwards especially in defence."
There is also a lot to adjust to in terms of positioning, and there is more pressure on your decision making.
Grant said you can't shy away and have to not let the pressure get to you.
He will be back in the centres on Saturday for the Lions trip to Scone, pushing into inside centre with James Clift unavailable.
Elsewhere Walcha will be looking to bounce back from their last round loss to Moree when they host Barraba/Gwydir while Narrabri are at home to Inverell.