STATE CALLING: Bundaberg's Zac Laybutt will play for Queensland indigenous under-15 rugby league side next month.
STATE CALLING: Bundaberg's Zac Laybutt will play for Queensland indigenous under-15 rugby league side next month. Paul Donaldson BUN281117ZAC7

Zac steps out of his brother's shadow

LEAGUE: Step by step, Bundaberg's Zac Laybutt is following in the footsteps of his older North Queensland Cowboys brother Kyle.

The promising footballer will represent his state next month in an under-15 indigenous side that will travel to New Zealand.

Zac was selected after impressing during the Queensland Murri carnival trials and is in the team to play two New Zealand Maori sides.

Before that the 15-year-old will be part of a camp for the squad in Brisbane and get the chance to watch Australia take on England in the Rugby League World Cup on Saturday night.

"I'm very excited for that (the World Cup),” he said.

"I'm very happy and really proud to be selected.

"I think I played pretty good to be selected.”

Zac was also picked after his impressive season with Western Suburbs in the under-15s in the Bundaberg Junior Rugby League.

Leading from the front as captain and playing the same position as Kyle, five-eighth, he had a superb season.

Zac scored 17 tries and guided the side to a grand final win with a man of the match display that included a hat-trick.

"It's been good, gained plenty of confidence and it was good to be captain,” he said.

"I just tried to help others and be instructive.”

Zac said he got most of his talent from plenty of battles with Kyle and other brother Blake in their backyard.

Blake played in the Bundaberg Rugby League A-Grade with Isis this season.

Zac said while it was brutal at times the experience prepared him for the mental toughness of the sport.

"It was a bit competitive, with me crying a lot,” he revealed.

"It's been good following in their footsteps and looking up to them a lot.

"It toughened me up.”

Zac said Kyle had helped him with advice on how to improve.

"He said just do what you want to do and believe in yourself,” he said.

"He's a good tackler and good at defence, so I try to do the same.”

Zac said he didn't have many expectations about New Zealand.

"I want to learn a lot, hopefully,” he said.

"And listen as well and not think I know it all.”

Zac heads to Brisbane tomorrow for the training camp before flying out to New Zealand on Sunday.



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