Evans Head team selected for Australian rugby tour of NZ
IZACK Rodda's determination to succeed in rugby union has reaped a massive reward, with the towering 18-year-old from Evans Head chosen for the Australian Schoolboys' rugby union tour of New Zealand.
Izack, a lock-forward who stands 201cm tall and weighs in at around the 115kg mark, has been chosen in the Australian squad to play against Fiji, New Zealand Barbarians and New Zealand Schools. The squad will leave on September 23.
His selection came despite a setback this year, when he broke his tibia in a training incident and was out of action for eight weeks.
Izack's rugby career began with stints with Ballina and Lismore City in the Far North Coast junior competition, as well as representing Evans River K-12 School. He showed early promise and gained selection in FNC and NSW Country junior teams.
In a bid to further his career, he moved to Ipswich Grammar School as a boarder for Years 11 and 12.
Playing in the schools competition, which produces the majority of Queensland senior representatives, saw his game progress to the stage where he was noticed by State schoolboys selectors and was chosen in the Queensland Schoolboys No. 2 side last year.
Now, despite his injury setback, he has moved a step closer to achieving his goal of being chosen in the Australian Wallabies Under-20 team.
Parents John Rodda and Donna Watts are understandably proud of Izack's achievements.
"We've all worked hard to get him where he is today, and he worked hard to overcome his injuries," Donna said.
John describes Izack's strong points as being his ball control and strength, combined with an ability to offload the ball after making a break.
He said that being surrounded by "a lot of other good players" had also helped Izack's development.
John and Donna said that despite his success on the rugby field, Izack remained a "humble, modest" person.
Izack's other sporting love is surfing, and he is able to return home on weekends to surf at Evans.
Izack, John and Donna would like to thank Ben Fisher and the Killer Whales club for supporting Izack with the selling of his raffle tickets to enable him to go on the rugby tour to New Zealand.
Fox Sports will televise the New Zealand tour games. Check the Evans Head Killers Whales website for match times.