Harry Croker earns Combined High Schools call up

NSW Combined High Schools under 18s player Harry Croker is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week.
NSW Combined High Schools under 18s player Harry Croker is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week.

The number of rugby league squads Harry Croker has linked with over his life continues to grow.

The Taree High School student was named in the NSW Combined High Schools (CHS) under 18s side that will compete in the Australian championships on the Gold Coast in July.

Harry earned his selection after State trials with the Greater Northern side.

This team takes in players from the Hunter to Kempsey.

Harry is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana.

Named in jersey number 16, it’s expected Harry will ply his trade at the Australian titles off the bench.

Harry will be familiar with a few players in the side, namely fellow Newcastle Knights development players Tom Baker and Bradman Best. 

"I've looked at the side and it's pretty good,” Harry said. 

He’ll be in camp with the squad from July 9 to 13. 

The CHS side is set to take on the Queensland under 18s on the first day of the competition before tackling the Combined Catholic Colleges (CCC) the following day.

"After that hopefully semis and a grand final,” Harry said.

He’ll come up against a familiar face who has been named for CCC - his cousin Mitch Black.

"We've been playing together for probably 11 years now and we just know each other so well,” Harry said.

"We're the closest of mates and he's like a brother to me.”

It was this time last year that Harry took the field for NSW under 16s at Suncorp Stadium before State of Origin game three.

It was there he played under the tutelage of current NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler and assistant coach Danny Buderus.

"They're outstanding so I reckon they're going to rip it up,” he said about their chances in this year's State of Origin series. 

But it was another Blues legend that provided the most encouragement in camp.

"The guy that gave me a lot more was Siro (Paul Sironen).

"He was helping out and because he was such a rough forward he really got into you.

"He was nice for such a big guy.

"When it came to footy, he was there to fire you up,” Harry said.

Harry is still linked with Taree City in the Group Three competition but has been unable to take the field this season due to his commitment to the Knights.

He hopes to sneak a game or two in for them before season’s end.

"That's up to the Knights, I'm just happy to do what they say,” Harry said. 

When asked about his influences as a second rower, Harry was quick to respond.

"I sort of mirror myself on Boyd Cordner,” Harry said. 

"Just a local boy and the way he plays, he's just one of the best.”

Post school, Harry said he would love to follow a career in rugby league.