By Andrew McKaysmith
Jack Howarth need only look towards his family to know how special it is to represent the Australian Schoolboys.
His father cried when he was told Jack would make his international debut against the New Zealand u19s at Redcliffe this Sunday.
“My dad shed a few tears when I told him and I did too,” Howarth said.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without my dad, he works endless hours for me to play the sport and get me everywhere, same with my mother. It couldn’t have happened without them.”
Rugby League is the winner as imposing second-row forward Jack Howarth prepares to make his international debut against New Zealand this Sunday.
Horwarth is a year 11 student at Brisbane Boys College, a GPS school and noted rugby union nursery that has produced Wallabies Will Genia, James Horwill and a trove of other test players.
The decision to fend-off career prospects with the Queensland Reds and Wallabies, then sign a contract with the Melbourne Storm is endorsed by an unlikely source close to home.
"My coach at BBC has been very supportive of what I am doing," Howarth said.
"I'm fortunate that he is, because in the past people haven't been able to do what I've done; he's a great mentor, and he puts a lot of time and effort into my training.”
Horwarth’s comments reference BBC's 1st XV coach Shane Drahm, an exceptional flyhalf who played for the Reds before achieving two English test caps in 2006.
Commitments to his studies, the school’s 1st XV and Easts Tigers in the Mal Meninga Cup mean the young forward sticks to a demanding schedule.
The Storm made an offer for him to join them in Melbourne this year, however his parents felt staying in Brisbane was best until he has completed year 12, giving him the option of tertiary education alongside his athletic pursuits.
"I've done a few captain’s runs with the Storm, and I have joined them for an opposed session," Howath said.
"I went down to a two-week camp in Geelong where they pulled me in for a defensive session, Dale Finucane was throwing me around, but he really looked after me."
Howarth has enjoyed his time with his Australian teammates at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast this week.
While he was victorious in Queensland Under-18s origin team, representing Australia has long been the goal and now it is a career highlight.
"We're all enjoying ourselves in the environment," he said.
“It’s an honour to be here.
“I might shed a few tears when the national anthem plays, I’m really excited.
“I have a lot of pride in my football, so I want to show that for my country through my performance on Sunday.”