Lithgow Storm talent Cooper Egan credits a great deal of hard work and training for his selection into the Under 16s Western Ram squad, which was announced on Thursday, February 7.
The 15-year-old was the only Lithgow player to be selected to the final squad, which will make its debut in Lithgow on February 16.
Egan said he hoped there would be plenty of people coming out to watch him run with the Rams for the first time.
“A few people have told me they will be coming along to watch,” he said.
“I hope plenty of people come – I’m sure they will.”
The initial development squads were announced late last year and Egan said the teams had focused on “building our skills up, making us better people and better players”.
“I want to thank all the Lithgow boys who tried out. They all pushed me to do better,” he said.
During the holidays, the Lithgow High School student has trialed with the Roosters Rugby League team and took part in a three day camp with the Penrith Panthers.
The Egan name is no stranger to the Western Sydney club, home of Cooper’s brother, Wayde, who made his first grade debut for the club in 2018.
Cooper Egan has been training nearly every day to help secure a Western Rams start.
“It’s a lot of hard work that’s paying off,” he said.
The hard work is set to continue, with a training camp at Burrendong this weekend before their first hit-out against Penrith at Lithgow.
The last time the teams met in a trial game the Western team was beaten by one try. The Rams will be looking to turn that result around in Lithgow.
“It's a bit different than bush footy, a lot tougher,” Egan said.
Egan will continue to play with the Storm in 2019, in the Under 16 competition. He hoped to work towards playing in the Sydney competition in the Under 18s.
He thanked his mum and dad who ferried him to competitions all around the countryside in 2018 and was set to do it all again in 2019.
UNDER 16s: Cooper Egan (Lithgow Storm), Josh Belfanti (Bx St Pats JRL), Mitch Cleary (Coonamble JRL), Kaeden Dickson (Orange CYMS JRL), Jackson Gersbach (Cabonne Roos), Brandon Hamilton (Sth Dubbo Raiders), Fletcher Haycock (St Johns Dubbo), John Mackay (Bx Panthers JRL), Kyle Mawhinney (Parkes Marist JRL), Finnley Neilsen (Parkes Marist JRL), Matt Noakes (Red Bend JRL), Braye Porter (St Johns Dubbo), Sam Raumati (Red Bend JRL), Jesse Shorter (Red Bend JRL), Bill Statham (Cowra Magpies JRL), Riley Wake (St Johns Dubbo), Aston Warwick (Sth Dubbo Raiders), Zac Williams (St Johns Dubbo), Mitchel Wilson (Wellington Cowboys JRL).
UNDER 18s: Mackenzie Atkins (Bx Panthers), Nicholas Barlow (Bx Panthers), Nicholas Bennett (Mudgee Dragons), Rylee Blackhall (Wellington Cowboys), Tyler Colley (Bx St Pats), Elijah Colliss (Wellington Cowboys), Ash Cosgrove (Bx St Pats), Pat Halsey (Bx St Pats), Jack Hartwig (Forbes Magpies), Liam Henry (Blayney Bears), Lachlan Large (Bx Panthers), Ben Lovett (Parkes Spacemen), Ryan Manning (Orange Hawks), Dylan Marmion (Blayney Bears), Colby Peckham (Dubbo CYMS), Marlin Pollack (Orange Hawks), Noah Ryan (Dubbo CYMS) Thomas Stimpson (Dubbo CYMS), Nathan Ward (Bx Panthers), Campbell Woolnough (Forbes Magpies)