He has been dubbed 'Bernie Junior' because of a remarkable resemblance to ACT Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham.
But Nick Jooste says being tall, lanky and playing in the same position as Larkham won't help him break into Super Rugby and start forging his own career.
In a Brumbies team full of Wallabies stars with a wealth of Super Rugby experience, Jooste is the face of a new generation on the fringes and waiting for a chance to shine.
The teenage superboot from Perth will join scrumhalf Joe Powell, prop Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin and flanker Michael Wells on a steep learning curve as the club chases a title.
Jooste has a chance to learn from some of the best playmakers in Australia, including boyhood idol Larkham, Christian Lealiifano and Matt Toomua.
And the fact 18-year-old Jooste looks like a young Larkham wasn't lost on the rest of the Brumbies squad.
"Pretty much as soon as I got here it started. The nickname got locked in when one of the boys got me a shirt with a picture of me on Bernie's [Larkham] shoulder as a Christmas present," Jooste said grinning.
"I'm fine with it. I guess we both play in the same position and we're tall. But that's about it. Unfortunately it's nothing to do with my game. He was an awesome player and I haven't even played Super Rugby yet."
The Brumbies are being touted as one of the teams to beat this year with 11 Test players in their squad and some future Wallabies pushing for more game time.
Their stars will mix with a crop of young talent trying to find their feet in the professional world.
Twelve months ago Jooste was starting his final year of high school, while Powell was working as an apprentice carpenter.
Leuluaialii-Makin used to be a removalist and Wells walked away from a potential chance to chase an Olympic Games berth with the Australian sevens side.
It is all part of Larkham's plan to blend youth with experience. Jooste is the youngest member of the squad, and was born 16 years after the oldest Brumby, Josh Mann-Rea.
"I'm not expecting too much game time this year. My main goal is to learn as much as I can from guys like Matt Toomua and Christian," Jooste said.
"If one of them goes down, I'll have to be ready. I've already learnt a lot, I'm learning every day.
"There's a younger generation coming through as well, which is good to see. The older guys are really good, there are no big heads. Everyone's just in it together."
Larkham will likely use Jooste sparingly in his first Super Rugby campaign, with the big-kicking youngster to also feature in the ACT under-20s side.
But former Australian under-20s vice-captain and Canberra first-grade premiership winner Tom Staniforth is ready to push his case for more game time.
Staniforth made his Super Rugby debut in April 2014. Almost two years later he is still waiting for his second cap.
The 21-year-old has earned a reputation as the most fierce trainer, constantly causing scuffles and spilling blood in maul drills against his more experienced teammates.
It is that ferocity that has put him on the cusp of breaking through again in the final year of his contract.
Staniforth will compete with Rory Arnold and Blake Enever for the right to partner Sam Carter in the second row.
"You've got 15 blokes trying to rip each other apart at forwards training so you'd hope that there's a bit of blood or tension otherwise you're not going hard enough," Staniforth said grinning.
"It gets pretty feisty and fun. It depends who's got the ball or is in the way.
"I'm a big believer in the old saying of train how you play, that's something we do at the Brumbies. It's very competitive, everyone wants to be in the game-day 23.
"Guys move on and that's great. Sam Carter and Scott Fardy have taught me a lot in terms of handling different situations and their work ethic. I feel a lot fitter this year, I feel ready. But I just want to enjoy footy."