NSW VB Blues vice-captain Robbie Farah was elated to make yet another Holden Kangaroos squad but he’s just as excited by the selection of so many rookies in the Four Nations squad, players who represent the future for the NSW State of Origin side.
Josh Jackson, Alex Johnston, David Klemmer, Josh Mansour, Sione Mata’utia and Dylan Walker are uncapped NSW players preparing to represent Australia – and Farah is delighted to have the opportunity to see them sparkle on one of league’s biggest stages.
“It’s obviously going to be pretty exciting for everyone and especially these young guys who have been given a great opportunity,” the Wests Tigers skipper said.
“They have been playing great football at club level and now they get the opportunity to test themselves at the higher levels of the game.”
Farah toured with many of the rookies to Kokopo for the annual Prime Minister’s XIII match against Papua New Guinea – and he was amazed by the rookie players’ skills.
“I went to PNG with a couple of the younger kids, including Sione,” Farah said.
“Honestly I was blown away by not only his talent but also his toughness.
“New South Wales is obviously in good hands now and you’d have to say there’s exciting things to come for us in the future.”
For NSW VB Blues coach Laurie Daley it’s great to see players who’ve long been earmarked for State of Origin representation will now essentially get a master class in rugby league at the highest level.
“They get exposure to Test football and we get to add some depth to our squad going forward,” a delighted Daley said.
“For these players it’s a great opportunity to get some experience and then if they start the year off well they can try to force their way into a winning State of Origin team.”