The rugby education of Calrossy year 11 student Harry Snook has reached a critical juncture as he prepares to conclude his debut Australian Schools Championships campaign.
It is expected the 16-year-old will line up for Combined States in the bronze medal playoff against the ACT at Saint Ignatius' College, Sydney, on Saturday morning.
Playing a full game at fullback, the exciting Tamworth Magpies prospect finished of a movement to score in Combined States' first game of the championships - a 27-24 win over Victoria.
He then played half a game on the wing in Combined States' second match - a 39-14 loss to Queensland 1, who play NSW 1 in the final on Saturday.
Snook is relishing the experience of playing a level of rugby he had not been exposed to previously.
"It's been really good," he said. "I've really enjoyed it - a really good team environment."
"It's a really good standard of rugby [at the championships]," he added.
The 23-strong Combined States squad consists of players who were not selected in their state team.
Snook played for the Association of Independent Co-Educational Schools at the recent NSW trials at Darceyville. He still has another year to compete at this open level.
The teen said Combined States "stepped up and put on a good performance" against Victoria, while he would "like to think" he belonged at this level.
"It's a different style of rugby," he said.
"But, yeah, it's a good learning curve, I guess - adapting to different ways to play and whatnot."
Snook made a spectacular first-grade debut in the Magpies' 42-17 defeat of Barbarians on May 18 - scoring four tries and kicking seven goals, for a club record 37 points.