NSW U18s Player Previews
1. RYAN PAPENHUYZEN
Ryan is fullback for Balmain and one of the most dynamic runners of the football at the under-18s level. He had a stellar SG Ball season leading all try scorers with 15 tries under his belt.
NSWRL Performance Programmes Manager Jamie Feeney said: “Ryan is an electric runner of the football and extremely mature at the back in defence.”
2. REIMIS SMITH
There is a lot of excitement surrounding Smith and his rugby league potential. The Mascot junior played for the NSW Under-16s side, showing great speed and strength in both attack and defence.
Feeney said: “He possesses all the skills that make a quality rugby league winger. He doesn't say much but his actions will speak louder than his words on Wednesday night”.
3. CURTIS SCOTT
Captain of the Cronulla Sharks’ victorious SG Ball team, Scott terrorised opposition with his speed and footwork. Queensland will have to stay focused on him at all times otherwise he could run riot.
Feeney said: “What makes Curtis so special is his work ethic. He’s very talented but his determination adds another level to his game.”
4. JESSE RAMIEN
The team speedster, Ramien just needs the smallest bit of space to capitalise on his opportunity. He’s been terrific for the Sea Eagles this season in the SG Ball competition.
Feeney said: “Jesse is a weapon in attack and we will be providing plenty of ball for him on the edges.”
5. REUBEN GARRICK
Garrick has plenty of speed to kill and has been lethal under the high ball. This high-flyer has excelled in the SG Ball competition for the Illawarra Steelers and will be set for a huge outing against Queensland.
Feeney said: “Garrick is an absolute excitement machine. His speed and agility is incredible.”
6. BROCK LAMB
Lamb has been superb as five-eighth for the Newcastle Knights in the NYC this season. Lamb brings an exceptional kicking game to the NSW Under-18s side.
Feeney said: “His organisational skills are phenomenal and he brings a lot of confidence to the team with his ability to steer the side around the park.”
7. JACK COGGER
Cogger is the perfect compliment to his halves partner, Lamb. Cogger and Lamb were selected in the Australian Schoolboys side in 2014, and have a lot of experience playing together all season in the Newcastle NYC team.
Feeney said: “Cogger and Lamb have been outstanding for the Knights this season and their enthusiasm has resonated throughout the team. Jack was a standout selection to lead the team out on Wednesday and is chomping at the bit to get at Queensland on the MCG.”
8. DANIEL VASQUEZ
The hard-hitting prop forward is ready to rock against Queensland. He runs hard, is strong defensively, and works well for a big man.
Feeney said: “He was one of the biggest reasons the Sharks captured the SG Ball trophy this year. His man-of-the-match performance in the Grand Final was one of his best games all year and I'm looking forward to seeing him step up against the Queensland pack.”
9. DANIEL PECK
Peck is a crafty hooker who always keeps defenders guessing. Playing for Balmain in the SG Ball, Peck is very clever in attack and does plenty of work in defence.
Feeney said: “He is one of the most intelligent youngsters I have seen at this level. He reads the defence very well and creates a lot of opportunities through the middle in attack.”
10. BLAKE LAWRIE
Lawrie is the ultimate competitor. He’s determined, fierce and tough. Lawrie played for the NSW Under-16s side in 2013 and will be key to the forward pack getting over the top of Queensland.
Feeney said: “Lawrie is a very good player and has played NYC for the Dragons all year. He has great strength and ball playing ability and plays long minutes for a big-bodied front rower.”
11. BRODIE JONES
Jones will do whatever it takes to help his team achieve victory. He’s a strong runner of the football, scoring seven tries for the Knights’ SG Ball side and works very hard in defence.
Feeney said: “Brodie is a very selfless player. He has a very good work rate and is always prepared to do the little things to help his team out.”
12. RAY STONE
Stone has been in blockbuster form for Western Suburbs this season. The second rower has played Australian Schoolboys football and his experience will be vital for NSW against Queensland.
Feeney said: “Ray's defence is his major strength and he works really hard to clean up the ruck. In attack, he is an excellent ball runner, and his line running on the edge will be crucial for our side.”
13. GABE HAMLIN
Hamlin was instrumental in the South Sydney Rabbitohs reaching the SG Ball Grand Final from 7th place. He has played several NYC games since finishing the SG Ball season and will trouble Queensland on the edge of the ruck.
Feeney said: "Gabe was wrapped to be given the Vice-Captaincy of this side and this will push him to play really well. He played for the NSW Under-16s side two years ago and I'm looking forward to his experience helping our team out on Wednesday night.”
14. CADE CUST
Cust is a smart player and has been in terrific form for the Manly Sea Eagles SG Ball side this season. It’s his first time playing for his state and he is relishing his opportunity to represent NSW.
Feeney said: “Cust’s running game off the bench will be a major factor for us. He will definitely have a big impact on the game.”
15. BROCK ILLETT
The X-factor of the NSW Under-18s team. Part of the Sharks’ SG Ball Premiership side, Illett provided his unique style of play that tore opponents to shreds.
Feeney said: “Illett has been sensational for the Sharks this season. He will provide an element off the bench that will catch Queensland off guard on Wednesday night.”
16. BILLY MAGOULIAS
Magoulias played a major part of the Cronulla Sharks’ unexpected SG Ball victory after storming from eighth place to win the Grand Final. He will provide plenty of strength against Queensland.
Feeney said: “Magoulias’ impact will be critical for us on Wednesday night. He is equally adept as a runner or ball player, and creates another option for us in attack.”
17. BILLY BAINBRIDGE
Bainbridge is set for a major role off the bench with his tough physicality and strong ball running when hitting the line. He has been very strong for the Sea Eagles, scoring nine tries in the SG Ball competition this season.
Feeney said: “It’s a great luxury to have Bainbridge come off the bench for NSW. He will trouble Queensland with his speed and strength.”
18. SAM ELLIOTT
From the Northern Rivers Region in NSW, Elliott joins the team with some senior Representative football under his belt. A strong-running forward with good footwork, he has good ball-handling skills and works really hard in defence.
Feeney said: “Sam is a worker and can bend the line in attack. He can play a bit with the ball if needed and has a bit of insight into the opposition as he played in the Mal Meninga Cup earlier this year. Hopefully we can use his insight to our advantage."