Okabe to lock horns with Hong Kong
RUGBY LEAGUE: Young Rugby League Brahmans star Sean Okabe is set to test his skills internationally.
After starting with the Under-19 Whitsunday Brahmans side from April this year, Okabe will represent Japan against Hong Kong on November 4 in a bid to help them qualify for the Rugby League World Cup
Okabe's trip to Hong Kong marks his first overseas football competition, one he hopes will be the first of many.
"I do hope more opportunities do come but whatever I have now I'm happy with,” he said.
Okabe was introduced to rugby league in Brisbane representing the Under 16 Wynnum Manly Seagulls before moving north to the Whitsundays.
He said his step father Steve McKeon was instrumental to his successful sporting path.
"When I first met my step dad he introduced me to the sport, and since then I have had a good passion for it,” Okabe said.
Steve McKeon said he was happy to see Okabe thrive in the sport which he was introduced to and added that the Whitsunday Brahmans had welcomed him with open arms.
"He worked hard from a young age and developed along well and enjoys playing the game,” he said.
"We moved up here for Easter and he joined the Brahmans and absolutely loved it, it is one of the most friendly clubs we have come across.”
U-19 Whitsunday Brahmans coach Josh Korn said Okabe was a versatile player who gets the job done in the forward pack.
"He's only 17 this year and he has stepped up to the Under 19's, he is a quiet boy but also a quiet achiever, he goes about his business and always gives 100% on the field,” he said.
"I think he will be someone who can move on to the Mackay Cutters and edge into their ranks.”
Okabe has already commenced his journey to the Honk Kong and is sure to return with a wealth of life-long experiences.