Young five-eighth Brock Lamb has enjoyed playing with Newcastle Knights Under 20s since joining the side late in the season.
17-year-old Lamb made his NYC debut in Round 21, when the Knights played the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Sydney.
Those regular season games plus the finals has provided Lamb with valuable experience, which is set to serve him well when he represents the Australian Schoolboys at the end of the year.
"It was a big step up to play Under 20s and it was hard because I wasn't mates with all the blokes when I first came in, but then I became mates with them," Lamb reflects.
"I was just glad a got a couple of games in the finals, so I can bring that experince into the normal season."
Lamb explained it was always his goal to take his football to the next level with the Knights.
"I though I'd just train with them for a while and maybe get a game in the coming years, but to get a game was really good, because I wasn't really expecting that," he added.
"A few of the boys and I had played together before so it made it a little easier."
While disappointed about not going further in the Holden Cup final series, the Under 20s were pleased to secure the minor premiership.
"Everyone is just happy we finished where we did, we finished minor premiers, which is a good achievement," Lamb said.
"To come into the finals and play two of the games, that's pretty good for us and I'm happy that we got there."
For now, Lamb shifts his focus to the Australian Schoolboys. He was selected alongside teammates Jack Cogger and Braden Robson and will tour England in November.
"It didn't really set in at the start, but to realise that I'm going to represent my country is pretty important and means a lot to me," Lamb said.
Lamb will spend a week in Canberra training with the team before traveling overseas to play in the six-week tournament.
"It's all happening and it's pretty exciting," he added.
The emerging Knight balances high school with rugby league and believes the key to succeeding at both is time management.
"If you can get that right everything just seems to click into place," he concludes.