It has been quite a month for Henry Johns who has been named as captain for the North West Schools representative team and Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School’s first XV team.

Having played in the school’s first grade side in 2021, Johns was adamant about clinching his favoured position of hooker. He played all throughout the forward pack last year and has been rewarded for his efforts for the 2022 season.

Henry’s father, Andrew Johns who works at Gunnedah Shire council spoke about his love for the game.

“He lives and breathes rugby,” he said.

“Over the last six months he has transformed his body with a huge focus on his fitness. I’d say it’s the fittest he’s ever been in his life.

“They were light on props last year and because they needed a bigger body, he filled that position.”

Currently in his last year of high school, Johns is excited about the opportunity to lead not just Farrer’s first XV but the North West Schools side.

The team is selected from all schools in the north west region and Johns was due to play in 2021, however, he missed out through a knee injury. 

The side will travel to Coffs Harbour with the competition taking place on April 27-29.

Andrew Johns spoke about the challenges faced by players in the team.

“Traditionally the kids that play for regional areas are at a disadvantage in some ways because it is hard for them to train whereas the kids that play in metro Sydney, they all live near each other and potentially are able to train together much easier,” Andrew said.

“Having the competition in Coffs will be good, it’s not in our region but it is only four-and-a-half hours away as opposed to last year it was in Kiama which is a fair hike.”

While missing out last year through injury, Johns still wanted to better understand the level of play and joined his teammates over the weekend.

“He still went down and he could tell it was a pretty high standard,” Andrew said.

With two training sessions a week at school in Tamworth, Andrew Johns explained the commitment from his son towards leading the school’s rugby team.

“Now that Henry has his Ps, he can’t catch the bus home after training so he either drives himself home or I drive over to pick him up after work, so it’s a fair commitment from him,” Johns said.

With a year still left ahead of him, Johns has plans of playing grade rugby in Sydney and completing a science degree at university.

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