Isaac Henry came to Canberra to step outside of his Brisbane comfort zone. The last thing he expected was to be in and out of a Super Rugby coronavirus "bubble" after taking a chance with the ACT Brumbies.
Luckily the 21-year-old has found his feet on the fields around Canberra, exiting the Brumbies training quarantine zone to be the leading John I Dent Cup scorer after the first two rounds.
Henry, who was on the fringes of the junior Wallabies last year, has been a standout performer of the Canberra premier division's opening rounds and is one of a handful of Brumbies development players released to get game time in first grade.
Henry and Bo Abra are at the Tuggeranong Vikings, Billy Pollard is turning heads for the Uni-Norths Owls and Lachlan Alberts is starring for Wests.
Inside centre Henry has scored 32 points in his two games, picking up from where he left off as the leading point-scorer in Queensland's top grade last year.
The opportunity at the Brumbies led him to Canberra and he spent the pre-season training alongside Irae Simone, Tevita Kuridrani and Len Ikitau before coronavirus forced a change in training protocols.
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Young players were faced with a choice: enter the Brumbies bubble to train, but doing so would mean they weren't allowed to play club rugby.
"The Brumbies offered me a little opportunity and I thought I'd try something new," Henry said. "I wanted to get out of my comfort zone ... it's my first time out of home, too, so there have been some testing moments.
"I've enjoyed learning from the boys who have been around the block - being a bit of a sponge. But now the bubble is in place and once you're in there, Brumbies is your focus. I was in for two weeks, but it's good to play now."
The Vikings will play against the Gungahlin Eagles on Saturday, while the unbeaten Owls will meet the resurgent Queanbeyan Whites at Campese Field.
The Owls and the Vikings are the only two undefeated teams in a COVID-19 shortened season, with the Owls aiming to end a 28-year title drought. The Owls haven't played in a grand final since 1992, but many are tipping them as a contender this year.
"We're getting wins on the board and we'll take them anyway they come, but we're still just building into it," said Owls skipper Lachlan Creighton. "It's a short season, anything can happen. Anyone is capable of beating anybody.
"The Whites are young and they're hungry. They'll be riding high after last week, but so are we."
JOHN I DENT CUP ROUND THREE
Saturday: Gungahlin Eagles v Tuggeranong Vikings at Nicholls Enclosed, Queanbeyan Whites v Uni-Norths Owls at Campese Field, Royals v Wests at Phillip Enclosed. All games at 3.05pm.