High school super boot Nick Jooste says the Brumbies colts are treating their opening Super U20s match against NSW Gen Blues like a grand final.
Jooste signed a two-year contract with the Brumbies, moving over from Perth to vie for a Super Rugby spot, but said the intense rivalry between the states had certainly trickled down to the youth competition.
“It’s a massive rivalry that’s new to me coming here, but it’s one I’m really excited to be a part of,” he said.
“We’re treating it like a grand final.”
The Brumbies colts will play teams linked with the four other Super Rugby franchises as part of the new six-week competition and Jooste said it was a valuable opportunity for the emerging stars, especially those from smaller Rugby markets.
“It exposes the states like the ACT, Victoria, WA to the big boys, so to say, of Queensland and NSW,” he said.
“So we really get to test ourselves against the best of Australia.”
Inside centre Jackson-Hope will captain the colts team and said he was honoured to lead the side out.
‘It’s a massive honour, hopefully I can just live up to it,” he said.
“It (Super U20s) gives the taste of the next step progressing into Super Rugby.
“It’s pretty exciting to be able to test yourself against the best players in the country of our age.”
Jackson-Hope will link in with flyhalf Jooste and said he enjoyed the combination they have built over summer.
“Really enjoyed playing outside Nick, he’s a special talent so it’s been awesome.”
While they have some superstar backs, the Brumbies Colts are also set to unleash a forward monster in prop Tyrel Lomax.
The son of former Canberra Raiders hardman John, the 127 kg Lomax is glad to be able to make the most of his size advantage, playing among his own age group.
“It’s the first time really playing in my own age group, so it’ll be a bit of fun,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to using my size a bit more. I haven’t really been able to do that too much.”
Lomax will be joined by schoolboy stars Nick Jooste and Jordan Jackson-Hope in the first Brumbies Colts team, to take on the NSW Gen Blues on Friday night.