It is a dream that goes unfulfilled for thousands of rugby players.
Ladysmith hooker Casey Cavers has lived it twice.
Cavers recently got back from Georgia where he had the opportunity to pull on the maple leaf and play for team Canada in the U20 Junior World Rugby Trophy hosted by the International Rugby Board.
“We did alright,” said Cavers, noting Canada’s 2-2 record for the tournament.
“We got 5th out of eight.
Canada lost 38-9 against the host country Georgia on May 24, lost again 30-15 to Japan on May 28, beat Zimbabwe 49-23 on June 1 and beat the Russians 49-24 on June 5.
Playing in the position he plays, in the forwards and front row of the scrum, Cavers is used to taking a lot of punishment.
“It was my second year, so I kind of knew what was coming, but its always intense than at club level,” said Cavers who normally plays for UVic.
It was challenging for the team noted Cavers, getting through everything with only five weeks of being together.
While the Georgians may not sit as high in the international rankings, they have the reputation of fielding some pretty big, brutal players in the forward pack and especially in the front row.
“Scrummaging against the Georgians was definitely tougher,” said Cavers.
“They are very big and also very skilled.”
“Everyone else we had no problems with.”
Wearing the #2 jersey also meant Cavers was the lineout thrower, responsible for throwing the ball back into the field once it is out of bounds as players are boosted into the air by other players to grab and secure the ball.
Canada lineouts were working well, said Cavers.
“We did fairly well in the lineouts. We had good height.”
In terms of his own play, Cavers said he was also pleased with his tackling and open play, though he didn’t get as many runs.
“When I did get the ball I was happy with how it went.”
Figuring out the opposition’s defence was hard said Cavers, noting Canada had some difficulty picking from the scrum.
“But we played a style with lots of crashing (the defence) with lots of forwards and with the centres.”
This style helped Canadians open a few holes in the defence.
Cavers is now preparing to tryout for the U23 team and B.C. Bears provincial team.