Sky is the limit for young rugby league player
HIS pathway to the NRL is signed, sealed and about to be delivered.
It's been a good month for TCC Firsts vice-captain Sam Murphy, who is now contracted to the North Queensland Cowboys under-20s and will play for Queensland under-18 schoolboys' team in July.
Murphy was selected after a standout showing at schoolboy trials in Burleigh at the weekend - his side Capricornia only finished fifth but he outplayed all the other lock-forwards.
Murphy was excited at the prospect at his future in the game and couldn't wait to pull on the cherished Queensland jersey.
"The ultimate goal is to play NRL but short term is to play well for my school and then play well for the Cowboys," he said.
"(They) gave me an opportunity to try and build my game at the club, I can't wait.
"I've made a couple of rep sides but none as important as this one, it is one step closer to my goal of NRL.
"I've played since I was five… for Rockhampton Brothers and that's it. They are an unreal club; Brothers then there's others.
"School footy has been good too, I played firsts last year where we went alright in confraternity. Hopefully this year we can do better, we have a good side."
A talented halfback growing up, like most juniors Murphy was naturally drawn to watching Johna-than Thurston strut his stuff on the park. Since his move to the engine room three years ago, his role model has evolved.
"As I have progressed into the back row position I've been watching Matt Gillett a lot," he said.
"He is a great player, sort of similar to me, obviously a much better player, but I try and copy his unpredictable style.
"I was a bit different to the other locks at the trials.
"I am a ball-playing lock which I think caught the selectors' eye. If the option was there I'd be able to ball play to a side, whereas the other forwards would just barge forward.
"It was quite surprising, we had a good side down at the carnival in Burleigh, we were a bit unlucky in our games. We had a good side, which certainly helped me out a lot.
"I was pretty shocked but it was a good feeling when it was announced."