THEY ply their trade for rival Group 10 under 18s teams but Nik Booth and Luke Bain have been reunited.
The pair of forwards have gained selection in the NSW Combined Independent Schools (CIS) rugby league team to contest the Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League (ASSRL) Championships to be held in Kingscliff from Sunday.
Booth, of St Pat’s Kinross Wolaroi, and Bain, of Bathurst Panthers and Saint Stanislaus’ College, are off on another representative endeavour after they were part of the Western Rams under 18s representative side at the Laurie Daley Cup.
Booth and Bain had played their previous seasons of junior football together at St Pat’s before the latter made the switch this year.
The boys are united again and ready for a challenge with CIS, who have traditionally found the going tough against their NSW Combined High Schools (CHS) and Combined Catholic Colleges (CCC) rivals.
CHS going into the tournament as defending champions.
Following trials Booth initially missed the final cut for the CIS team but another player’s misfortune granted him an opportunity.
"This is my first time at CIS. I've had three goes at it before but this time I managed to make it," he said.
"Last year I made the camp but didn't make the final team. That was what happened against this year but one of the front rowers was injured and I got called in.
"I was stoked when I heard I'd got in. It was great news for me but bad news for someone else who had to miss out."
Booth said he’s not too familiar with the majority of the NSW CIS team but he said it’s a quality lineup.
"I wasn't too sure if I'd get in. There's a lot of good players in the side," he said.
"There's SG Ball players down in Sydney every week so there's quality players there.
"There's a couple of boys in here who I've played against in trials but also a couple of new boys who I saw at the camp."
Bain’s appearance at Kingscliff will add another feather to his representative cap.
He captained the Western Rams team at their Laurie Daley Cup campaign and his performance earned him a place in the NSW Country under 18s.
"It was great to get the selection for CIS because there were a lot of talented footy players who made it tough," Bain said.
"They took an initial squad of 35 to a trial and from there they came up with the final 20-man team for nationals.
"I just tried to put my best foot forward at the trials, knowing that there was SG ball players there.”
Kinross’ Aiden Kelso is the other country representative in a CIS team dominated by city players.
"I know one of the other boys [Aiden] who goes to Kinross, where Nik goes, but the rest are relatively new faces from the city,” Bain said.
"Nik, Aiden and I are the only country boys in there and it's great to see a couple of country boys getting a crack.”
Other teams at the championships are Queensland Sport School (QSS), ACT and the Combined Affiliated States (CAS).
The Australian school boys under 18s team will be selected at the end of the championships.