FROM the age of three, Taine Browne and Ben Cornish have been two peas in a pod.
Growing up in Cannonvale they both went to Scallywags daycare centre and have been playing footy together since they could both walk.
Today the two rising stars will depart for the first time for a school boy rugby tour of Europe.
They are the only players outside Ignatius Park College in Townsville to be selected for the tour.
"It was pretty surreal at first," Cornish said.
The 23-day tour kicks off in England then will head to Belgium before taking in Scotland and Ireland and finishing back in England.
No stranger to representative rugby union, 17-year-old Cornish was selected for the Queensland Country team in 2014.
Browne missed out on the team in 2014 but both were selected in 2016 for the state championship team and played for Queensland Country against Brisbane city at Suncorp Stadium.
Both players said that to be selected as a pair meant a lot to them.
Cornish and Browne each hope to forge a career as a professional rugby union player and see their inclusion in the school boy tour key to the fulfilment of that goal.
"I will hopefully get contacts when I finish school I can get in contact with and some time in the future just play footy overseas and earn some money," Cornish said.
The young half-back (Cornish) said he had been involved with some team bonding session with his school boy team mates and was excited about playing rugby union for the first time on the international stage.
The team will also take time out to visit historically significant sites such as Stonehenge and French battle fields of the First World War.
"(But) I am really excited to play football the most," Cornish said.
Browne, who also has ambition to play professional rugby union, said the selection came as a shock.
"I couldn't believe it at first. Then the next day he came and reminded us about it again and then we started talking to our families about it."
Browne said the selection was a great opportunity.
"I might not ever to do it again."
He said he was a long way off making rugby his career, "but this is a good stepping stone".
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.