Young star headed for Africa

TEENAGE rugby prop Tim Metcher is currently smack bang in the middle of a very busy 48 hours.

Yesterday the Year 12 student at Coffs Harbour High sat for two exams (Modern History and English). This morning he must take a PDHP exam before making his way to Brisbane to catch a flight to South Africa.

The 16-year-old tighthead prop has been selected for the NSW Country Schools team and this year the squad is undertaking a tour of South Africa and Malaysia.

"I've been busy with school and playing all that footy as well," Metcher said. "I just made the North Coast team as well to play in the state championships.

"With all the footy and stuff I've just been trying to get through."

Metcher's footballing talents have seen him progress through to being part of the Coffs Rugby first grade squad but a spot with the big boys will have to wait until he returns from his international tour.

This is not the first time the gently spoken giant has travelled overseas as part of a rugby team.

As part of the under 15 NSW Country team two years ago, Metcher toured the Cook Islands and it was here that he first acquired a thirst for travel.

"One of the best things about going away is meeting the different people and seeing the different cultures," he said.

"Obviously playing football in other countries is good too but meeting new people is the best part."

It's this desire to see and experience new things that has the prop jumping out of his skin to get to South Africa and Malaysia.

While on tour, the NSW Country Schools team will face the Malaysian national under 19 team, three of the finest rugby schools in South Africa and the big test will come in a match against the Bulls Super 14 Academy team.

Metcher is up for the challenge as well thanks to punishing training regime that he has endured for pre-season.

"I've dropped about eight kilograms in eight weeks as I'm trying to be an 80 minute player now," he said.

"There's been a lot of time in the gym and I'm benching about 150kg now and I've also spent a lot of time cycling."

All big steps towards making a go of his rugby at one of the Sydney clubs next year with Randwick, Gordon and Eastwood all showing interest in his talents.

When the tour is over, football is done, school is finished and a move to Sydney negotiated, maybe Metcher might find a moment to unwind.

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