BIG POTENTIAL: Ken Dobson and Michael McCamley with Junior Gold Cup player Jeremy McVinish-Downes, who took only two matches to be selected into the Central Queensland squad.
BIG POTENTIAL: Ken Dobson and Michael McCamley with Junior Gold Cup player Jeremy McVinish-Downes, who took only two matches to be selected into the Central Queensland squad. Jake Jones

Future union star is born in form of Gold Cup newcomer

IT took just two games for Jeremy McVinish-Downes to stand up and be counted in rugby union.

The 10-game union newcomer claimed a berth in the Central Queensland Junior Gold Cup side.

After playing rugby league for seven years, Jeremy was lured to union by mates.

He quickly progressed through the ranks and has been flagged as a future talent.

The year 12 student, who has returned to league for now, says he's putting study before thoughts of chasing a career in either code.

"If I can I will takes steps to be professional, for now I am focusing on school, but if I get an opportunity I will take it," Jeremy said.

The rugby union fraternity will be pushing for the 16-year-old to join its ranks full time once his schooling ends.

The Gold Cup, which Jeremy had not heard about until recently, is a national competition aimed directly at identifying talent for national squads, Australian Sevens and upwards to Super Rugby and Wallabies.

One of the standouts for CQ, Jeremy captained the side in one of his five matches, putting his best foot forward at the centre position.

"We tour around Queensland and New South Wales and played against some good squads," he said.

"I have been playing four months - only 10 games."

Finishing the Gold Cup in early March, Jeremy now has the chance to work with local development officer Ken Dobson on his game.

For the time being, it is back to the back row in his Brothers U18 rugby league team, but who knows what the future may hold.

"I like rugby union, league is more structured but I enjoy rugby union a lot," he said.