Our Tino lands a three-year deal with the Rabbitohs
RUGBY LEAGUE: For years Augustine Stowers woke up early on Saturday mornings to run around the Condamine River, with his dad Fred by his side and an ambitious goal in mind.
It was one day in his six-day a week training regime, which also included two days of training with his rugby league team and three days of independent work in the gym.
Now all that hard work and dedication has paid off, as the 18-year-old has just scored a three-year contract with NRL team South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Stowers started playing the game at age four in New Zealand and after moving to Warwick at age 11, he joined the Collegians Junior Rugby League Club.
In under-12s he started being selected for Darling Downs representative sides, which planted a seed in his mind that he could pursue the NRL.
Stowers said rugby league seemed to come naturally but he worked hard to improve his fitness and skills.
"It's all mentality because after school your brain is just fried and then after a few hours you have training and your body was tired from that,” he said. "You get used to it and start improving different skills.”
Stowers joined the Toowoomba Valleys Roosters in their U15 side, where he stayed until U18s.
The former Assumption College student, who turns 19 in May, said meeting his manager Paul Hogan in 2016 was a turning point, as he provided a lot of invaluable advice.
While Stowers was signed for a year with the CanterburyBulldogs and was offered a two-year contract with the Manly Sea Eagles, when he was offered a three-year agreement with the Rabbitohs in November it was too good to pass up.
"I was really lost for words, I was so happy and my whole family was happy,” Stowers said. "I feel grateful, all those mornings I've been waking up so early even though I feel tired.
"I thank my old man... every single time I go to the trainings I think I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him.”
Stowers said he was training seven days a fortnight with the U20 side and working full-time completing an automotive apprenticeship.
He has a vision to run out onto Suncorp Stadium in the coming years.
"It's nerve-wracking because you just hear the NRL how physicality and the mentality is so fast and strong, it's way different to rep teams I've made,” he said.
"Just try your hardest, if you really want to make it do some training and work hard and have fun. It just means a lot that I'm here right now ... doing all that hard work and it all pays off.”