BIG ACT prop and former Port Macquarie local Jeremy Cropper’s rugby league career took another giant leap forward on Friday, with selection to represent his country in the Australian Schoolboys side.
Cropper will pull on the green and gold jersey for two Tests against the Poms next month, after a strong performance in last week’s carnival in Port Macquarie, but he said selection in the side took more than just one week.
“You’ve always got to put your best foot forward, and this is the result of five, six, seven or 10 years of hard work,” he said.
“It’s really not an overnight thing.”
He said it went back to making the Group 3 15-years representative side before playing for the Newcastle Knights 16s.
He also played for the Oxley Pioneers 18s team.
Cropper is now playing for the Canberra Raiders’ SG Ball (under-18s) and under-20s sides, but he can add Australian representative to his list of achievements.
“I’m over the moon,” he said.
“It’s a fantastic honour to represent my country.”
The first Test against the English Academy touring side is at Canberra Stadium on August 5.
Cropper hasn’t got far to go to get to the ground, unlike some of his teammates flying in from across the country.
“I’ve just got to cross the road from the AIS,” he said.
Cropper said he was looking forward to turning out on his home ground.
“The playing surface is fantastic,” he said.
In a rare event, the NRL game between the Raiders and the Brisbane Broncos will be the curtain-raiser to the Test.
“Hopefully a few people will stick around after first grade and watch us play,” Cropper said.