Charlton-Walker tackling the Kiwis
CHARLES Charlton-Walker started playing rugby union for a bit of fun.
Now, one year later, he is ready to take part in a tour of New Zealand as a member of the prestigious Under-17 Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team, which starts today.
"I didn't think too much about it, just tried it for some fun and see how it was," he said.
"Then I got into the Far North Coast team, and then from there I got picked for the Brothers in Union Camp in Sydney, where I tried out for the Lloydies and got in."
Charlton-Walker is only 16 and has played league almost his entire life, but has taken to union with a passion.
The code hopper said he wasn't sure what position he would be playing in for the tour, but is looking forward to learning from the experience of his teammates.
"Getting into this team just shows me how good I am at what I do, and definitely gives me confidence that I can make it at this level," he said.
"It's going to be a tough competition, especially playing in New Zealand where all they do is play rugby, but I'm trying to focus on what comes at me, and not too much in the future.
"This will be my first time going overseas too, so I'm pretty excited about that."
Charlton-Walker said he had been training hard since he found out he made it in the team last April, putting in extra sessions with his coach throughout the year to be prepared for this tour.
"I've been working pretty hard to get to this point, training four or five times a week, working on my techniques and skills, practising all the time," he said.
Charlton-Walker's mum Kahlua said the family fundraised throughout the year by selling raffle tickets to give Charles the chance to go to New Zealand.
"He is so determined and committed to playing footy, doesn't matter what code it is, he loves it," she said.
"In the last two years he's improved so much. He's very talented.
"I was so happy we could raise the money for this tour. It's very exciting."