Scott ready for green and gold
This time last year Melbourne Storm youngster Curtis Scott was still at Endeavour Sports High School in Caringbah studying for the HSC.
Fast forward 12 months and the boom rookie is now studying video as he prepares to represent his country when the Junior Kangaroos take on the Junior Kiwis on Saturday afternoon at Pirtek Stadium.
"I was in school last year sitting in a classroom and now I'm training every day with Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater. It's a dream come true to be around those players," Scott told NRL.com on Tuesday afternoon at the team's hotel.
Scott admitted he couldn't have ever dreamt about playing first grade at such a young age and said he had to pinch himself sometimes to remind himself that he gets to call the 'big three' his teammates.
"I didn't see it coming until I was down in Melbourne and training with those guys. I've just fed off their knowledge of the game and have taken my own game to a whole new level," the 2015 Schoolboys star continued.
"I spent a bit of time in the pre-season working with Billy as well. He's given me little tips about how I can improve my catch-pass, counting numbers in attack and stuff like that."
The NSW under-18s representative was one of the most sought after players on the open market, with up to half-a-dozen clubs reportedly chasing his signature.
The 18-year-old played eight games for the Cronulla Sharks in the Holden Cup last year before inking a three-year deal to join the Storm until the end of the 2018 season.
Scott said it was a fairly easy decision to make the move down south, although he admits the lack of surf in Melbourne was slightly disappointing.
"There were a few opportunities in Melbourne at the time," he said.
"A few of their outside backs left, they have a great coach, the facilities are really good and there was a chance to play with guys who are going to be future Immortals.
"AFL is the pinnacle down there, so you're not really in the spotlight. That's good in a way because you can fly under the radar and concentrate on your footy.
"The lifestyle is a bit different. I grew up living surrounded by beaches in Sydney so it's a bit different down there."
Despite being relatively new at the club, Scott revealed he had already experienced more than one infamous Craig Bellamy address.
"If you've gone through the Melbourne Storm you're always going to cop a Craig Bellamy spray, but it's for the best," he conceded.
"He knows how to get the best of us players and we all respect him for it."
The teenage sensation was expecting a year in the Holden Cup with the possibility of playing a few games in the Intrust Cup but was sensationally thrust into the NRL side for the Round 2 clash against the Titans.
Scott looked comfortable in that game and was rewarded with another cap, this time against his former side, the Sharks.
Playing in front of friends and family, things looked to be going smoothly in his return to the Shire until he was forced from the field just 17 minutes into the Monday night contest.
"I thought it was a cork at the start so I kept playing for about 10 minutes but then I realised it was a serious injury. I went off and the doc had a look at it and told me I'd broken my fibula," a gutted Scott recalled.
"It was pretty annoying that it happened against my old club, to be honest. I wanted to send a statement to them but unfortunately I got injured after 20 minutes.
"I really ripped into my rehab and my physio after that and now I'm feeling really good."
Scott made his long-awaited return in the Round 9 Holden Cup win over the Titans where he scored a try and ran for 170 metres in a performance that proved to Australian coach Justin Holbrook that he was ready to play in the Test.
He revealed to NRL.com that he was a chance of returning to the first grade side that week given the Storm's horrible run of injuries, but decided it was safer to not risk it.
"There was a slight chance I could have played but I really just wanted to get a few minutes under my belt before I came and played here," he said.
"I was pushing the envelope to play first grade but I'm grateful I was able to get some game time in the 20s."
Now that he's had a taste of first grade, Scott's goal is to fight his way back into the side, but he knows that won't be easy given their impressive start to the season.
"We'll see how I pull up after this game. Hopefully if I'm training well then I get picked again," he said.
"I just want to get back into the first grade side and play consistent footy."
This article originally appeared on NRL.com.
The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club.