Athletic Canberra Vikings lock Darcy Swain is the fifth nominee for the NRC Rising Star award.
Swain, 21, has been a consistently strong performer for the Canberra outfit in their impressive season thus far, starting in all five games.
The Vikings have won four games, and only dropped one, and Swain's tireless workrate in the Canberra pack has been one of the reasons why.
The 200cm, 110kg lock is the Vikings' go-to lineout target, he carries hard and only defence machine Ben Hyne can top Swain's tackle count; he averages almost ten per game.
After Swain scored his first try at the weekend to help the Vikings down Melbourne, FoxSports' guru Sean Maloney said of the big Queenslander: "Now through five rounds of the NRC, Darcy Swain has been one of the Vikings' best in 2018. So good at lineout time. He's a wonderful target for McInerney and Mann-Rea. He carries strongly and he covers the park beautifully."
Swain, who played for the Australian under 20s last year, played for the Vikings in the 2017 NRC and he made his Super Rugby debut against the Jaguares earlier this year.
The Brumbies see Swain as a challenger to more seasoned teammates for second-row minutes in 2019, and given he's up against Sam Carter, Rory and Richie Arnold and Blake Enever, that speaks volumes.
Australian players are eligible for the NRC Rising Star award if they have played three games or fewer in Super Rugby. Drua players must have played three games or fewer for the Flying Fijians.
The NRC Rising Star award winner will be selected by a judging panel at the end of the 2018 NRC season.
NRC RISING STAR NOMINEES
Round One: Andrew Deegan (Western Force)
Round Two: Alivereti Veitokani (Fijian Drua)
Round Three: Jock Campbell (Queensland Country)
Round Four: Archie King (Melbourne Rising)
Round Five: Darcy Swain (Canberra Vikings)
Round Six: TBA
Round Seven: TBA