RUGBY UNION: Up-and-coming rugby union player Tyron O’Pray of James Nash High School.
RUGBY UNION: Up-and-coming rugby union player Tyron O’Pray of James Nash High School. Patrick Woods

Gympie youngster Tyron O’Pray to play union with QLD’s best

What was the competition you recently played in?

I first represented James Nash State High School at the Wide Bay rugby union schoolboy's trials for the under-18 boys in Bundaberg on March 24 before being selected for the Wide Bay team.

This team competed at the regional championships in Townsville from May 7 for the five-day competition.

How did the Wide Bay team go in the regional championships?

Although we lost every game they were all really tight and only myself and another player were selected to go the Queensland Championships.

What team have you been selected for?

From representing the Wide Bay region I have gained selection in the Chairman's XV team as a combined secondary schools side which will compete as a Division 2 team in the Queensland Schoolboys Championships held at Ballymore in late June for three days.

There were a lot of selectors who attended every game including two from the Queensland Reds and two selectors from Queensland School Sport.

When will you start training in the Chairmans team?

The team does not start training until June 6.

When was the last time some one from the Gympie region made a state union team?

Apparently I am the first player to make it to a state level since Nick Swan in 2007 who was also from James Nash State High School.

When did you first start playing rugby union?

When I moved to Gympie in Year 8, I started playing, but only took it seriously last year.

Who influenced you to start playing?

My father, Edward O'Pray, used to play and went to New Zealand to represent his school.

Rod Jenkins also really encouraged me in Year 10 and noticed that I was doing well in Year 11.

What have you achieved previously in rugby union?

I was selected in the Wide Bay team last year in Year 11, but unfortunately did not get selected.

How did you feel when you found out you had been selected for the Chairman's team?

I was surprised and extremely grateful for the opportunity to go further.

Who is your favourite team?

Either the Queensland Reds, Waratahs or Brumbies.

Who is your favourite player?

James Slipper

Is it a goal of yours to progress further in the sport?

Yes, I want to go further in school rugby union and hopefully make the Queensland side?

Will you look at playing with the local Gympie Hammers rugby union club?

Yes, I played last season with the Hammers and might play with them again this season.

What do you like most about rugby union?

I think it is a high level sport where everyone conducts themselves really well and helps build friendships and team work skills.

Player profile

Name: Tyron O'Pray

Age: 17

Born: Brisbane

Position: Tight head prop

Favourite food: Subway

Favourite music: ACDC

Favourite movie: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Sport you would play if not union: I have played basketball, touch football and rugby league.

Funniest moment in sport: At the carnival I was just at went into a tackle and got cleaned up.

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