THE talents of an emerging Port Fairy sportsman are in high demand.
Bryce Meekes, 18, has plenty of good judges at Port Fairy Football Netball Club excited about his prospects of becoming a top-line Hampden league ruckman.
But his talent on the rugby field means the Seagulls will have to wait their turn for the 195cm youngster.
Meekes has been selected to tour Europe in April as part of the Iron Armour Academy under 20s squad.
He will join fellow south-west players Trinity Pompey and Marnie Hauraki in the squad, which will play and train in France, before competing in the World Youth Rugby Festival in Portugal.
The tour will go for two weeks.
Meekes caught the eye of Iron Armour Academy squad selectors playing for the Warrnambool Raiders in the Limestone Coast Rugby League grand final in December. While the Raiders lost the game, Meekes produced a best-on-ground performance.
Meekes said selectors approached him to train with the squad.
"They got in contact so I went to Melbourne and trained a few times and they had a spot to fill which I fitted," Meekes said.
"I play second row and swap as a prop. With the squad, they have been using me in the lock position.
"In Europe we will play rugby union rather than league, which is 15 players, up from 13, and lock is a pretty important role. It is a role that suits the taller players like me so I am excited to develop my skills in that position."
Meekes said the exposure of playing high-level rugby in Europe was a big opportunity.
He said good performances, both at team and individual level, would be noticed.
"There will be a lot of scouts watching these games from all over the world so the chance is there to impress," he said.
"I would like to see how far I can go with rugby, I would like to make the Melbourne Storm under 20s squad this year."
Meekes is raising funds to help pay for his trip to Europe.
Anyone wishing to contribute can go to https://www.mycause.com.au/page/193598/rugby-trip-to-europe