Rare dual-code history for Roosters schoolboy star
A rare slice of schoolboy football history is Luca Moretti's reward for playing eight games in the space of 12 days, earning him call-ups to both the Australian Schoolboys rugby league and rugby union sides in the past fortnight.
Moretti, 17, is one of the 13-man game's rarest commodities, a local Roosters junior on contract with the NRL powerhouse until the end of 2020.
He's also believed to be one of only two teenagers to earn national schoolboys selection in both codes in the same season.
While marrying up schoolboy records dating back to the early 70s is no mean feat, rugby league schoolboy officials and NRL historians including David Middleton believe Moretti joins former Melbourne Tigers NBL stalwart Warrick Giddey, who played Australian schoolboys rugby league, union and basketball in 1985.
Moretti, in his final year of study at Waverley College, first impressed selectors turning out for NSW in the schoolboy rugby championships at the start of July and earning a spot in the Australian squad for games later in the year against NZ schools and Tonga.
A day after wrapping up his 15-man commitments at Riverview, he was off to Kingscliff for another four games with NSW Combined Independent Schools before being named in his second national side in as many weeks.
While the Waratahs are keeping a close eye on Moretti, who plays No.8/loose forward in union and a prop/back-rower in league, his manager Steve Deacon has declared rugby league Moretti's passion as he works his way into the Roosters under 20s ranks.
"Luca's juggling both codes this year and plays 1st XV with Waverley, but rugby league's where he wants to keep going for the moment," Deacon told NRL.com.
"The skills from rugby give him a bit of a point of difference, he's shaping as an edge runner with a good ability to offload in tackle which is pretty big in rugby and he's coming along well.
"Like all kids it's about putting the work in, which is pretty clear with him playing eight or nine games across two weeks, and impressing the top coach at the Roosters."
Moretti played his junior league with Clovelly Crocodiles, the same local club as Roosters fan favourite Victor Radley.
He will tour England in November with an Australian schoolboys contingent that includes highly rated Cronulla centre Bronson Xerri and Knights young guns Bradman Best and Jock Madden.