Josh Staines couldn’t have found many opponents with a higher profile for his Sydney first grade debut than David Warner.
The Wagga teenager played got the call up to tackle the former Australian vice captain in his first top grade test on Sunday.
Coming into Gordon’s Twenty20 side, the Wagga RSL junior was thrilled to have already earned his way into first grade after joining the club in September.
However he was surprised to be included in the squad before getting the call on Friday that he was playing.
“It was pretty exciting that they gave me the opportunity,” Staines said.
“Hopefully I can score some runs in the one-dayers or two-dayers and hopefully I can get up in there as well.”
Playing against the likes of Warner made it even better.
“It was real cool,” Staines said.
“He had a bit of a chat to me which was pretty cool.
“He asked if I played that morning and I was like ‘nah but I heard you did’ and he said he needed to improve his fitness.”
Coming in at number 10, Staines made one from the one ball he faced in Gordon’s win.
He also snared one catch.
The 17-year-old has enjoyed his move to Sydney.
Missing the last few weeks at Wagga High, Staines has been completing his HSC exams in Sydney and has felt right at home with his new club.
“The club has been real good to me and have looked after me,” he said.
“I’m really enjoying it.”
Starting in second grade, Staines has also been playing in the under 21 Poidevin-Gray Shield competition before getting the call up this week.
He’s yet to make a big score, his best being 22, but he has been happy with his glove work.
“I’ve been keeping well but in the T20s I bat seven so it is hard to get an opportunity,” he said.
“I’ve had two bats in second grade and haven’t scored any runs but I’m sure it will come around soon.”
Staines is also preparing for his shot at the under 19s national championships.
He’s been named wicketkeeper for the ACT/NSW Country side for the tournament in Adelaide on December 3-13.
He was part of the under 17s national championships last season.