Joubert cracking the codes
Young forward Wian Joubert has a world of sporting opportunities before him.
The 16-year-old Brisbane State High student will don the cherished Maroon jumper on Sunday as a member of Queensland's Under 16 side to tackle NSW at Suncorp Stadium before Brisbane play the Warriors in an NRL clash.
It's a huge occasion for any young player when they represent their state for the first time.
In some instances, it can be the pathway to a rugby league career and even representative honours.
But for Easts Carina Tigers talent Joubert, those honours could come playing either rugby code.
"I like playing rugby union also," he said during an interview with QRL Media.
"I play flanker for the First XV at school.
"I enjoy the contest of both games. I know I will have to eventually choose between the two codes.
"I guess we'll see what plays out.
"I'm not quite sure, I'll probably make that decision when I finish playing school rugby.
"Right now, I just enjoy playing both games so I'll keep doing that until I have to make choice."
While he prefers playing in the back row, Joubert will have the enforcer duties up in the front row on Sunday, but he is not complaining.
"It's more responsibility in the front row, especially in defence but I'm happy with that. I love defending in the middle.
Most redheads are known for their aggression, spunk, and fire.
"Definitely," he grinned.
"Go hard 100 per cent of the time or go home. "
His surname implies he is French but his dad is South African and his mum is from Zimbabwe.
"They moved out to Australia from Pretoria when I was about six," he said.
"I started playing rugby union soon after and I still enjoy it.
"I started playing rugby league because there were a lot more opportunities."
So what about his name and the obvious French connection?
"I think there is some French ancestry down the line but I am just not sure where," he said.
Joubert said playing for Queensland would definitely be the highlight of his young career to date, by a long way.
While he never attended an Origin game growing up, he said the first thing he and his teammates were told when they entered camp was what it meant to wear the maroon jumper.
"We've been told what the jumper means to all of Queensland and to all the players who had gone before us," he said.
"It means so much to a lot of people, we were told that when we first got here.
"I definitely understand the massive rivalry and what it means to play for Queensland.
"The pride and culture that goes with wearing the jumper and playing against NSW is very important because you are representing the Queensland people.
Joubert said getting his Queensland kit with the Maroon jumper and shorts got the blood pumping.
"It's really excited coming into camp, meeting all the boys, training as a group, coming together as a team," he said.
Just maybe, the buzz and the high of playing for Queensland on a famous ground like Suncorp Stadium in front of a big crowd coupled with a victory will be enough to convince Joubert that rugby league is the right game for him.
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.