Following the conclusion of the Australian Schoolboys Rugby Union Championships in Sydney last week, seven members of the ACT squad have been selected to represent the country.
Mackenzie Hansen and Queanbeyan's Lachlan Osborne were both selected to play in the Australian Barbarians team that will face up against Tonga, while Ryan and Lachlan Lonergan, Thomas Ross, and Queanbeyan's Luke Gersekowski and Francis-Soakai Tai were all selected in the Australian Schoolboys Squad set to tour New Zealand and Samoa.
ACT coach Daniel Hawke lauded the efforts of the squad, describing the team as one of the best in attendance.
"When you look at the performance as a whole, we were one of the best teams, if not the best team there," he said.
"And the national representation from this year's squad was phenomenal and definitely due to the individual performances of those boys."
In their first match, the ACT gave competition heavyweights and eventual runners-up NSW I a scare, losing the game 27-33 after the final whistle while their second game against QLD II resulted in another hard-fought loss of 10-22.
The squad's final two games were classy victories against Combined States, 12-10, and Western Australia, 25-0.
"It was an emotional rollercoaster for a lot of the week, particularly losing to NSW I after the bell" Hawke said.
"But the confidence the coaching and administration staff had in the boys was definitely displayed up there"
As one of the younger members of the squad, 16-year-old Lachlan Osborne was "floored" when he found out he had gained selection.
"When I first heard I was pretty excited," he said.
"Being a 16-year-old and making a team full of 18-year-olds, it's pretty thrilling."
Francis-Soakai Tai said the selection was an "unreal feeling" and he was "very happy" to be touring Samoa and New Zealand.