20 players from the U20s with the potential to make it big

Discussion in 'Newcastle Knights Lower Grades' started by rhugh89, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    NRL’s future stars: 20 players from the U20s with the potential to make it big — Part 1


    • DAVID HALL AND NATHAN RYAN
    • FOX SPORTS
    • NOVEMBER 06, 2014 2:09PM

    LOOKING for the next big thing? In the first of our two part special we pick 20 of the top players aged 20 and under who look set to make a splash next season and beyond.

    All have played or are currently playing in the National Youth Competition (Holden Cup), NSW Cup and the Intrust Super Cup, Queensland’s premier competition.

    Some have already played first grade and if they haven’t already, they are on the verge of playing and lighting up the NRL in the seasons to come.

    TITANS: KANE ELGEY

    A former Australian Schoolboys representative, Elgey defied Gold Coast’s 15th-place finish in the Holden Cup to be named the competition’s player of the year.

    He remains the Titans’ hottest prospect, signing a one-year contract to keep the 20-year-old five-eighth/halfback at the club in the face of strong interest elsewhere.

    And with NRL coach Neil Henry looking to blood young talent to support his thinning ranks, the Tugun Seahawks junior could well make his breakthrough in season 2015.

    SHARKS: JACK BIRD

    The former St George Illawarra U20s captain has switched to the blue of Cronulla, signing a two-year deal with the Sharks with an eye on making the step up to the NRL.

    A highly rated junior rep player with NSW at different levels, the back-rower looks set for a shift to the backline in the Shire, and joins the club’s promising roster of young talent.

    BRONCOS: KODI AND JAYDEN NIKORIMA

    Two New Zealand brothers who came close to going to rugby union, Kodi and Jayden Nikorima were spotted by Broncos talent scouts before they were teenagers and are both now being touted as future NRL stars.

    Kodi, 20, and Jayden, 18, spent their childhood playing backyard footy together but next season, they’ll be training under the watchful eye of Wayne Bennett and the Broncos’ NRL team.

    Equally talented and blessed with pace, Kodi is currently at fullback but sees his future at five-eighth, while Jayden is a half.

    And the best thing?

    They’ve got another two younger brothers coming through the ranks.

    WESTS TIGERS: MATT LODGE

    The 19-year-old made his NRL debut for the Tigers last season after a midyear switch from the Storm.

    Lodge first caught the public’s attention when he was suspended for three games after writing a vulgar word on his wrist strapping during the U20’s State of Origin match.

    The St. Patrick’s Blacktown junior was soon turning heads again, but this time for the right reason, when he replaced an injured Keith Galloway.

    The 110kg battering ram finished the year with four first grade games to his name and is certain to feature in the regular squad next season.

    ROOSTERS: NENE MCDONALD

    The former Cairns junior started his NRL career in style, with a try on debut against the Bulldogs in round 11.

    He bagged two more in the victories over the Dragons and Titans, making seven appearances for the Roosters in season 2014.

    Named in the NYC team of the year, the highly rated outside back, capable of playing at fullback, wing or in the centres, has also represented Queensland’s U20s Origin side and was part of Papua New Guinea’s 2013 Rugby League World Cup after his impressive performances in the 2013 NYC.

    PANTHERS: ANDY SAUNDERS

    The 20-year-old Panthers NYC captain was also picked in the NYC team of the year and played for the Junior Kangaroos against the Kiws last month.

    He made positive steps playing off the bench in the premiership-winning NSW Cup side.

    The powerful 181cm frontrower has Brent Kite to show him the ropes at the foot of the mountains.


    HARKS: FA’AMANU BROWN

    Thrown in at the deep end with the sinking Sharks, “Nu” Brown was one of the few bright spots at Cronulla last season.

    The 19-year-old five-eighth has signed a contract to keep him in the Sutherland Shire until 2017, and after his performances in 2014 you can see why.

    The Kiwi junior offers plenty of potential, versatility and maturity — just look at his game-changing role in Cronulla’s shock defeat of the Roosters in round 17 — as well as a glimmer of hope for the Sharks’ future.

    KNIGHTS: JOSEPH TAPINE

    Another Junior Kiwi international, Tapine, 20, is one of a number of young talents coming through the ranks at Newcastle.

    The Wellington product made his debut for the Knights in round 9, with six more appearances in season 2014, the talented second-rower was one of the Knights’ best in the NYC squad and looks set to get more senior minutes in 2015.

    KNIGHTS: JAKE MAMO

    The 19-year-old Gosford junior is tipped for big things, and made his debut against Brisbane in April this year.

    Powerfully built and lightning fast, Mamo was the NYC Players’ Player of the Year last season and leading tryscorer with 22 tries.

    After seven senior appearances under Wayne Bennett in 2014, Mamo also earned a Junior Kangaroos call-up and his understanding with Sione Mata’utia could also mean some very good things for Newcastle next season.



    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sp...ke-it-big-part-1/story-fni3fbgz-1227114699861
     
  2. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    NRL’s future stars: 20 players from the U20s with the potential to make it big — Part 2


    • DAVID HALL AND NATHAN RYAN
    • FOX SPORTS
    • NOVEMBER 07, 2014 12:39PM

    IN the second of our two part special on the 20 best players aged 20 and under, we reveal the final 10 who we expect to make an impact on the NRL, if not next season, then definitely in the foreseeable future.

    We all know young guns like Sione Mata’utia and Anthony Milford are on their way to superstardom but these are the players you may not have heard of.

    Some of these players have been dominating the National Youth Competition (Holden Cup), or stood out among the hard heads of the NSW Cup and the Intrust Super Cup, Queensland’s premier competition.

    One thing is certain, we can’t wait to see them progress through the ranks.

    STORM: CAMERON MUNSTER

    Munster is one of the most highly regarded youngsters at Melbourne Storm and the 20-year-old, who plays at fullback and five-eighth, was one of five players to be elevated to the NRL squad — and the only one of the five to have already made his NRL debut.

    After joining Storm from the Central Queensland Capras in 2013, Munster made his first grade debut — replacing Billy Slater in the loss to the Cowboys.

    PANTHERS: WAQA BLAKE

    A star of the NSW Cup despite still being eligible for the U20s, Blake has been compared to a young Greg Inglis.

    Having played his junior football in Perth, Blake poses a devastating fend and fast acceleration, scoring 13 tries for the Panthers last season.

    The Fijian-born centre recently celebrated his 20th birthday — and the powerful centre looks to be dynamite waiting for the Panthers to light his fuse.

    BULLDOGS: LLOYD PERRETT

    Following in the footsteps of older brother Sam, Lloyd Perrett got his first taste of the NRL for the Bulldogs against the Raiders in round 15.

    But the 6’4, 113kg prop certainly doesn’t look out of place.

    Unlike Sam, Lloyd has given his allegiances to the Maroons and the green and gold — and while his future at the Bulldogs is not yet certain due to salary cap restraints, it surely won’t be long before we see more of the youngest Perrett brother, a certain future star.

    BRONCOS: JOE OFAHENGAUE

    Having a famous uncle is no guarantee of success — but when your uncle is one of the most powerful Wallabies forwards in history it’s probably at least worth taking note.

    Willie O made his name in the green and gold but nephew Joe is a different player altogether.

    In last season’s NYC finals, the 113kg, 19-year-old prop came very close to busting more than 200 metres in three games straight.

    Keep an eye on the apprentice carpenter’s development under Wayne Bennett in 2015.

    WARRIORS: SAM LISONE

    Junior Warriors co-captain and club NYC player of the Year, Lisone is already proving to be a dominant force for the Kiwis.

    Powerfully built and able to shake off tackles and shut down runners, the 20-year-old has been elevated to the NRL squad for 2015, with Warriors coach Andrew McFadden hailing the youngster’s hunger.

    The talented prop has been compared to Englishman James Graham as a leader and a ballplayer who can play before and at the line.

    PANTHERS: KIERRAN MOSELEY

    Another upcoming Panther tipped for big things, Cloncurry product Moseley has already been hailed for his determination to make it to the NRL.

    Picked up by Penrith in 2012, the pacy hooker and creative attacker was an integral part of the 2013 Holden Cup winning squad, and last season’s NSW Cup minor premiership — and proved he was ready for first grade with an assured debut at dummy-half in round 25 against Manly.

    EELS: RYAN MATTERSON

    In June the 19-year-old local product and U20s club captain signed a new deal that will keep him in Parramatta until the end of the 2017 season — the club and player couldn’t be happier.

    The exciting five-eighth (and nephew of Terry Matterson) bagged 14 tries last season, including four in one game against Manly, and capped off an impressive season with a call-up to the Junior Kangaroos side, having already represented NSW at U20s Origin.

    Perhaps a little green to make a real breakthrough but should certainly see some game time in 2015.

    RAIDERS: LUKE BATEMAN

    Canberra and Queensland U20s forward Bateman is yet to make his NRL debut and spent 2014 in the NYC and Super Intrust Cup, showing enough for the Raiders to extend his contract until the end of the 2016 season.

    A product of the club’s relationship with Souths Logan, Bateman looks to have the mental strength to handle life in the NRL.

    He was in the headlines after a messy U20s Origin game this season — but handled the spotlight well, while his work rate, passing and offloading ability on the field should see him progress to first grade very soon.

    WARRIORS: TUIMOALA LOLOHEA

    The Warriors have tagged Lolohea for a big future — not surprising when his ability as a halfback and fullback has already seen him compared to the likes of Billy Slater, Shaun Johnson and Brad Fittler.

    The 19-year-old scored 22 tries in 28 games for the Junior Warriors in 2013, was named in the Warriors’ Auckland Nines squad, spent 2014 developing in the NSW Cup and was part of the side that defeated Brisbane in the NYC grand final.

    Having made his NRL debut in round 20 against the Sea Eagles, “Tui” looks set to take his dynamic running game into first grade very soon.

    COWBOYS: PATRICK KAUFUSI

    The youngest brother of former Queensland Origin and Australian Test prop Antonio, Kaufusi is a graduate of the Holden Cup.

    The young forward made his Holden Cup debut back in 2012 before breaking into Queensland’s U20s Origin squad and claiming the Cowboys’ player of the year award the following year.

    Having missed most of the year with pectoral injury, the Bundaberg junior featured in the Northern Pride side which won the inaugural State Championship on grand final day.

    Tipping the scales at 103 kilos, the 20-year-old is signed with the Townsville based club until the end of 2016.


    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sp...ke-it-big-part-2/story-fni3fbgz-1227115752226
     

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