Growing up, Rugby was just Jack Maddocks’s bit on the side.
Cricket was where his true competitive desire laid, as he worked his way through the ranks.
In fact, the NSW Gen Blue U20s fullback barely played the 15-man game in his final years of school, only featuring in a handful of Third XV matches.
Yet, just two matches into the new Super U20s competition, and just one summer in fully focused Rugby training, the 18-year-old has been a standout for the NSW Gen Blue U20s.
“I actually grew up playing cricket, I just played rugby for fun,” he said.
“I love playing cricket, it helps my Rugby massively and vice versas – the skills are really transferrable.”
A season of colts at Easts saw him grab the attention of the Waratahs pathway staff and Maddocks made his way into the gen Blue squad.
Maddocks scored a double for NSW in front of a hostile Canberra crowd last Friday night, backing up a strong opening performance against the Reds U20s.
Maddocks said the new Super U20s competition gave players more than spectators might realise, from the chance to preview a professional lifestyle to the opportunity to play on the same grounds as their heroes.
It was that way last weekend, as the NSW-ACT sides faced off at Canberra Stadium, just hours before the brutal Super Rugby derby played out
“As a young player things (it gives us things) that you wouldn’t think mean a lot to us like playing on the main fields at stadiums, playing with brand new match balls .
“That kind of stuff professional stuff makes it really exciting.”
Maddocks has made one first grade outing for Sydney Uni over summer and said he wasn’t going to be worried about having to decide between the two sports any time soon.
“I think I’m going to keep playing both sports until I get the decision made for me,” he said.
“It’d be a really good opportunity if I was to go to higher levels in either of the sports. “
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While his ultimate Rugby goal is to make the Australian U20s squad this season, Maddocks would be just as happy returning to his club Easts for the winter.
“I really just want to keep enjoying myself,” he said.
“If I were to get picked for the Australian 20s, that would be great but I’d more than happily go back and play for Easts my club.
“I’ve been there my whole life and I’d love to play there if I miss out on the Aussie squad.”
Waratahs general manager of pathways Tim Rapp said Maddocks had potential in Rugby after his two eye-catching performances.
“He’s a wonderful athlete,” he said.
“He’s only really just started back in training, Rugby wise, this year.
“He’s got a lot of potential, he’s got a lot of things he can get better at and work at but that’ll come in time.”