At a time when his classmates and friends were busy finalising their university preferences and debating the age-old question of where to go for schoolies, Reece Macintosh was in the process of signing his first professional rugby contract.
It wasn’t the Waratahs, nor was it one of the five NRL clubs based in Sydney.
Following the conclusion of the 2015 season, a close family friend passed on Reece’s highlights video to a contact he had with the French Academy, whose role is to feed players to various French clubs around the country.
French Pro D2 club AvironBayonnais informed Reece's then soon-to-be manager they were highly interested in his client and the negotiations commenced.
“It all happened so quickly.
“Mum films most of my games and together we cut up the footage and created a highlights video at the end of the season. After we uploaded it to YouTube, it got shared around until finally it ended up in front of a recruitment manager for the French academy” Reece recalls.