Cowra rugby product Harry Johnson-Holmes has described his selection in the NSW Country Eagles squad for this season’s National Rugby Championship (NRC) as “mind blowing”.

Selection caps off a breakout season for the 20-year-old, who represented Australia at the Under 20s World Championships in Georgia and had his first taste of first grade with Sydney University in the Shute Shield this year.

He’s been given an indication by Eagles coach Darren Coleman that game time is a possibility, but the exciting young prop is happy to “take the opportunity to learn”.

“Obviously being young I’m happy to take the opportunity to learn,” Johnson-Holmes said.

“Darren initially told me, after watching me play in first grade, that there’s an opportunity for me to get some game time. If there’s an injury here or there it’s not a very big squad.”

Johnson-Holmes was notified of his selection via a phone call from Coleman about a month ago, with the 31-player Eagles squad announced on Tuesday.

The Sydney Uni student said selection was unexpected.

“It was a goal for a few years time,” he explained.

“To have this progression and to get the call so early is kind of mind blowing. I hadn’t planned on getting it until I’d at least played a full season of first grade. It makes it pretty special.”

Johnson-Holmes’ NRC season will follow representative campaigns with NSW Gen Blue and the Australian under 20s early this year, and a hugely successful season with Sydney University.

Johnson-Holmes was promoted to the Sydney Uni Shute Shield first grade side on his return to clubland, however when firsts failed to qualify for finals he fell back to colts firsts and helped them cap off an undefeated year.

Last week, the students defeated Easts 63-15 in the decider to secure back-to-back NSW Premiership Colts Firsts titles.

“I had a lot of rep commitments at the beginning of the year with the NSW Gen Blue squad,” he explained.

“I squeezed into the Australian 20s squad for the rugby union World Championships in Georgia. That was a great experience.

 “It’s been a great season for myself,” he said.

Round one of the NRC begins this weekend and Johnson-Holmes revealed he’s been named in the Eagles’ squad for their clash against Greater Sydney Rams on Sunday at TG Millner Oval, Sydney.

The promising youngster, who played his junior rugby in the Cowra Eagles’ red and white before making a move to Newcastle at the age of 10, will be in the Central West for the Eagles’ final regular round match against Brisbane City in Orange on October 28. 

As well as pursuing rugby, Johnson-Holmes is in his second year studying Economics at Sydney University. 

Meanwhile, Canowindra product and 2017 Cowra Eagles fullback John Grant will feature against the Eagles this Sunday having been picked up by the Greater Sydney Rams.