Dubbo junior Aston Warwick leading from the front in Western Rams' Johns Cup bid

OUT OF MY WAY: The outstanding form of Aston Warwick (right) during this season's Johns Cup campaign has seen the youngster step out of the shadow cast by his father, Macquarie Raiders legend Brett. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE
OUT OF MY WAY: The outstanding form of Aston Warwick (right) during this season's Johns Cup campaign has seen the youngster step out of the shadow cast by his father, Macquarie Raiders legend Brett. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE

There's times during the week when Aston Warwick and his father, Brett, find themselves walking down the hallway towards each other at home.

What happens then is exactly what you'd expect from any rugby league-loving household.

"If he's walking up the hallway I'll tackle him," Aston laughs.

If Aston's performances for the Western Rams in the Johns Cup this season are anything to go by, those hits would be enough to rattle his old man as well.

The son of a Group 11 rugby league legend who played for Macquarie for more than 30 years, Aston Warwick is quickly establishing a name for himself.

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The South Dubbo Raiders youngster continues to impress for a Western Rams side which is yet to lose a match in this season's Country Rugby League under 16s championships.

"You ask people and they say how tough he was so my goal is to be better than him," Aston said of his father.

"For him to be known as my dad, not me as Brett's son."

While there's plenty of banter between the pair, Brett couldn't be more proud of the progress his son has made in recent years.

"I tell him things but I think he still thinks of me just as his Dad and that I don't know too much," Brett said.

"But he was around when I was playing so he knows what it's all about and he's really getting in and knuckling down and loving his footy. It's been enjoyable."

The toughness portrayed by Brett during his stellar career has clearly been handed to Aston, who has continually trucked the ball forward and hit hard in defence during the Rams' four wins in the Johns Cup this season.

The young back-rower will be out to do more of the same on Saturday when the Rams meet the Greater Southern Region Wests Tigers at Bathurst's Jack Arrow Oval.

"The coach, 'Woolly' (Tony Woolnough), wanted us to be known for our defence and that's been the big thing throughout our games," Aston said.

COMING THROUGH: Aston Warwick has been part of a Western Rams forward pack which has overpowered its opposition in the Johns Cup. Photo: COUNTRY RUGBY LEAGUE

COMING THROUGH: Aston Warwick has been part of a Western Rams forward pack which has overpowered its opposition in the Johns Cup. Photo: COUNTRY RUGBY LEAGUE

"The more games we've played and the more we've trained and gelled, we've just been getting heaps better."

Much like his side wasn't at its absolute best in the opening round win over Penrith, Aston confessed his own performance was a bit "scrappy".

But he and the rest of his side has come on in leaps and bounds in a short period and the Rams put on a masterclass last week when trouncing Monaro 52-10.

"The biggest thing is getting the momentum through the game," Aston said.

"The first couple of rounds we let that first try in and we've tried to stop that. Last week we scored the first three then got a bit slack but we've just got to stay in that arm wrestle."

The Rams have won the past two under 16s country titles and as well as trying to repeat the achievements of those sides, the current players are motivated by the chance to tour England later in the year.

At the conclusion of both the Johns Cup and Daley Cup competitions NSW Country under 16s and 18s sides will be chosen for a three-match tour of England.

You meet new people and get to travel, and if you get selected for Country then you get to go to England.

Aston Warwick on playing for Western

"It's a great experience," Aston said of playing for Western.

"You meet new people and get to travel, and if you get selected for Country then you get to go to England.

"It's a big achievement for me but like our coach says, you can't just be happy with it. You've still got places to go."

Both Western sides are undefeated heading into Saturday's games against the Tigers.

The Greater Southern Region side has won just once in the 16s this campaign while the under 18s outfit has lost all four games.

The Johns Cup match kicks off at 10am with the Daley Cup fixture following at 11.20am.

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