Darby Medlyn from Parkes selected in NSW under 20s squad

DEBUT: Parkes Spacemen junior Darby Medlyn said it was surreal and emotional to be selected for the first time for the NSW Under 20s State of Origin squad. Photo: crlnsw.com.au
DEBUT: Parkes Spacemen junior Darby Medlyn said it was surreal and emotional to be selected for the first time for the NSW Under 20s State of Origin squad. Photo: crlnsw.com.au

Parkes Spacemen junior Darby Medlyn is looking to help his NSW Under 20s team mates avenge last year's loss to Queensland when he dons the Blues jersey for the first time on Wednesday night.

Medlyn is one of nine Country Rugby League (CRL) players named in the squad that will play in the Under 20s State of Origin before the State of Origin Game Three at ANZ Stadium.

In an interview with CRL, the Parkes product admitted he is excited for the challenge of taking on the Maroons and said it will be even more special having his loved ones there to watch.

"It means a lot, it was a pretty surreal feeling finding out that I was in the side and I'm just really grateful for the opportunity and can't wait to get out there," Medlyn told CRL.

"[When] I got an email saying I was in the side, I couldn't believe it, I called the family up and it was pretty emotional but it was unreal.

"Mum and dad usually travel about five hours every week to come and watch me play, they love it, but most of my family and friends from Parkes will be coming down to watch, so it will be pretty awesome."

Medlyn is eager to draw on the experiences of some of his NRL team mates, like Oregon Kaufusi, Stefano Utoikamanu, Sam Verrills and Brandon Wakeham.

"There are obviously some really good players in the side so I can't wait to get into camp and get to know everyone a bit better and make myself a better footy player at the same time, learn as much as I can and see what happens," he said.

Medlyn has progressed through the CRL pathway after representing Western Rams in the CRL Country Championships in 2016, captaining the Rams Under-18s side to a Country Championship win in 2017 and touring New Zealand with the Country Under 18s Representative side in July 2017.

In October 2017, Medlyn signed with the Canberra Raiders and plays in their Jersey Flegg team as a forward.

He believes the CRL pathway played a pivotal role in his development as a player.

"I was really happy to go through the CRL pathway through the Rams and this sort of thing coming up now makes you really grateful knowing you've come from that," he said.

"I am really proud to have played for Parkes and for the Rams.

"I didn't go down to an NRL system early, I went a bit later than players usually do.

"I was really happy to do that because the Rams and the CRL pathway set me up really well going down into the Raiders system - I got to finish school at Red Bend and got to enjoy time with my family.

"Once the time came around everyone was off doing their own thing as well so I was really grateful to be able to go through that sort of system and take my time.

"I didn't feel like I was out of place at all when I got down there so it was really good to be able to go through that sort of system and it prepared me really well."

Hoping to one day join the likes of Boyd Cordner and Jake Trbojevic in progressing from the Under 20's to the Blues State of Origin side, Medlyn's focus is on continuing to improve his football with the Raiders.

But he will always remember his home town.

"Playing back home at Parkes for the local first grade side with my older brother and a really good bunch of mates - that's probably some of the toughest footy I've played," Medlyn said.

"I'll be hoping to re-sign with the Raiders again through this year but we'll see what happens and hope for the best, I've just got to continue playing good footy."

The NSW v Queensland Under 20's match will be held at ANZ Stadium, Sydney on Wednesday, July 10 before the Game Three of the State of Origin series.

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