Ediq Ambrosyev can't wait to get among the action for Queensland's Under16s against New South Wales on Sunday despite carrying one of the most painful injuries a player can battle.
The Palm Beach-Currumbin High 11th grader will take the field with cracked sternum.
He refuses to let the injury stop him from playing the biggest game of his young life in a pre-cursor to the Broncos-Warriors NRL clash at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
"I wear a heart-shaped chest plate on it," he told QRL Media as the players entered camp on Tuesday.
"It hurts, but I try not to think about it. I just have to keep playing with it until I get a break and it has time to heal."
Ambrosyev's Gold Coast School recently won the Broncos Challenge and will be looking to make it a big double this year by taking out the GIO Cup.
A versatile utility, he likes playing dummy-half whenever the opportunity comes along.
"I like jumping in at hooker because I like controlling the middle. I love the contact," he explained.
"I like being in the thick of it, getting amongst the tough, physical stuff."
At 88kgs, he knows he has to bulk up in the coming years if he wants to compete in the NRL.
"Yeah, I know I have to get stuck into the gym work, get a bit bigger and cut back my body fat percentages," he concedes.
Ambrosyev has a mixed family heritage.
His father, Igor, is Siberian and his mother was born in Christchurch, New Zealand.
They migrated to Australia searching for employment opportunities and a better life for their family.
"My mum and dad both needed work and there was just nothing there for them," young Ambrosyev said as the team, coached by former Brisbane Bronco and Redcliffe Dolphin Mick Roberts, prepared for Sunday' showdown with NSW at Suncorp Stadium.
If rugby league doesn't work out, Ambrosyev wants to be a teacher.
"I like teaching, being involved with kids and helping them learn," he said.
"I am doing a Certificate III in fitness this year and will do my Certificate IV next year so I can be a PE teacher.
Ambrosyev will be hoping to repeat his heroics when he scored the match-winning try for Queensland Whites against Queensland Maroons in last year's under-15s semi-final.
It was the Whites' first win over the Maroons in 11 years.
"I was playing for the Whites - the supposed B team - against the Maroons after our coach, Joe Callaghan, picked me up at the regional carnival at number 17.
"I was lucky to get on in the semi-final and played much of the game and scoring the winning try with about 90 seconds remaining in the game.
"That was an amazing feeling; the best ever."
Ambrosyev now plays club football for the Currumbin Eagles, but previously became the first-ever player from the young Coomera Cutters club to represent the state.
While he has never attended a State of Origin game, he says he and his young teammates are only too aware of the "feud" which exists between the two rival states.
"We will all be pumped on Sunday," he said.
Not surprisingly Ambrosyev loves watching Melbourne Storm star Cameron Smith and Warriors No.9 Isaac Luke play.
"They are two different players. I like Cameron because he is so smart and because of his awareness and Luke because his aggression can be amazing at times.
So, what is his style out of dummy half?
"I like to mix it up a bit but I am more a team player, I like to share the ball around.
"If I see an opportunity I'll take it, but I don't like to be greedy and I enjoy setting players up.
He is not too concerned about what NSW might throw at him on Sunday.
"I've got four sisters who are all older than me who give me a pretty hard time so it will be much easier taking on NSW," he joked.
If he does get the opportunity on Sunday, he knows what he wants to do.
"I'll be focussed on getting the team going forward, I won't be taking a backwards step," he declared.
"I'll be working hard for my mates, I just want to bring energy to the boys."
QLD U16s are set to take on NSW at 11.35am Sunday, prior to the Brisbane Broncos v New Zealand Warriors NRL match at Suncorp Stadium.