or 17-year-old Lewiston resident and up-and-coming rugby player, Ben Howard, succeeding at his chosen sport in an AFL-mad state has been no mean feat.
With no academy equivalent for rugby in South Australia, Ben has been forced to join the New South Wales Group 6 Country League rugby team in a bid to pursue his passion.
Ben admits at times it’s been a challenge but one which has seen him travel the country and make some great mates.
This month he will head overseas with the NSW team to compete against the best junior academies in Manchester, Leeds and Scotland.
Last year he travelled to Papua New Guinea with this same team.
The former Two Wells Primary School student took up rugby after trying out for the school’s SAPSASA rugby team and is currently completing his final year of school at Xavier College.
Once his studies are finished, and after a six-month break, Ben hopes to join the police force but wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to one day represent Australia in rugby.
Currently Ben plays for the Eels at Dry Creek in the Under 17 team and has been training with the NSW team for the past two years.
The District Council of Mallala has supported Ben with a Community Partnerships Funding grant.
Ben and the NSW team fly out on September 21, with Ben’s mum, Marg, invited along as a sports trainer, and Dad, Darren, also not missing the chance to see his son play on a national field.
Best of luck Ben.