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By Ryan Lipman (Mt Druitt Standard)
LAST year's Mt Druitt-St Marys Standard Junior Sports Star winner continues his ascent to the top of sport's elite competition.
Tepai Moeroa competed at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival last week, representing Australia in the rugby sevens competition.
Australia made it to the grand final on day two of the competition at Saint Ignatius' College, Riverview and went down to champions South Africa 30-5.
Australia beat other counties including Tonga, China and Japan to make the final.
Tepai, of Emerton, said he would "never forget" the competition experience.
"It was pretty big to make the final," he said.
Tepai was given the opportunity to trial for the Australian side while playing for the Australian Schoolboys' team.
His schoolboys coach asked him to trial for the sevens team and following a camp in Redfern, he was selected for the Youth Olympics Festival team.
The year 12 student said there were some familiar faces in the sevens side, an advantage during the Australian Youth Olympic Festival competition.
"A few from the Australian Schoolboys' team made it. I already knew a couple of them so it helps when you know how they play," he said.
Following the grand final, players were awarded medals at a ceremony where they also had the opportunity to have photos with their families.
Tepai also plays rugby league and is a shot putter. He said he had a big decision to make this year which sport he wanted to concentrate on in the future.