LAKE Illawarra's Josh Noonan has continued to make giant steps in the highly competitive world of representative rugby union, after winning a spot in the NSW under-17 squad for next month's clashes with Sydney under-18s and Queensland.
The game will see the end of another busy season for the 16-year-old scrum-half, who attends Illawarra Sports High and plays club rugby with Uni Bulls. He will be one of 14 NSW Country players in the state squad.
"Our Country Cockatoos team played brilliantly, beating City 40-7, the first time a country 17s team beat them since 2005," Noonan said.
"We had a tremendous pack of forwards who gave us a great platform and the backs did the rest - think we really deserved to get so many players in the state side.
"NSW will play two games on the long weekend in October, the first against Sydney under-18s and then the big one against Queensland under-17s - we're really not all that fazed about playing two games in two days - we do it all the time when we play carnivals.
"It will be interesting to see how we go against the Sydney side - we played Country under-18s before in a trial and smashed them."
He paid credit to his Illawarra Sports High coach Tony Leader-Smith in helping him.
"I was lucky to have Tony as my coach at school and in a couple of Illawarra teams in the past and he is a great coach and I feel I owe him a lot."