True Blues legend Paul Sironen gives his verdict on each of the NSW u-20s Origin players. The NSW U-20s play Queensland in the curtain-raiser before Origin III tonight at ANZ Stadium. Catch the stream right here on www.NSWRL.com.au.

Here are Sironen's thoughts on each of his squad members:

1.    Matt Dufty - St George Illawarra Dragons 

Employment: Community Development Officer-Traineeship 

Education: Cert IV - Fitness

Matt is super quick, this is his third year of under-20s now, a prolific try-scorer who is very safe under the high ball and a great attacking player.

 

2.    Brian Kelly - Gold Coast Titans     

Employment: Teacher’s Aide - Mudgeeraba State School

Education: Cert III - Education

He is a blockbusting strong winger who was an absolute standout in last year’s game with four tries. He’s had a disrupted season this year with injury but he’s a well known performer at this level.

 

3.   Cory Denniss - Newcastle Knights   

Employment: Telecommunications Technician - Commworkx

Meteoric rise to first grade this year, Cory has he’s proved himself capable at NRL level. When he dropped back to this level he’s been very strong.

 

4.    Curtis Scott - Melbourne Storm    

Employment: Apprentice Carpenter / Fulltime NRL Squad

Education: Cert III - Carpentry

Class player, played NRL but had an injury earlier in the season and is coming back from that, but again he’s a proven match-winner at this level. Very aggressive and great footwork.

 

5.   Reuben Garrick - St George Illawarra Dragons

Employment: Building Labourer

Education: Bachelor of Commerce

He played in the NSW u-18s Origin side last year; he’s had huge improvement in his physical dimensions. He’s playing with a lot of confidence, but the improvement in his game from the past 12 months is remarkable.

 

6.   Lachlan Croker - Canberra Raiders 

Employment: Fulltime NRL Squad

Education: Bachelor of Sports Science @ UC

Croker is another one who has played NRL, played Intrust Super Premiership NSW level this year and last year and he’s a proven guy at this level. He’s been here before, battled a few injuries but is a class player, a good organiser, got a good kicking game and will steer us around the park.

 

7.    Jack Cogger - Newcastle Knights   

Employment: Fulltime NRL Squad

Education: Bachelor of Social Science at UN

Currently playing NRL and has really stood up to the rigours of that. He had a fantastic game against Canberra the other week and handled Josh Papalii for 80 minutes and did a great job, he will be really dominant coming back to this level, and along with Croker will get us around the park. He’s our captain and been with us in this program for the past few years.

 

8.    Oliver Clarke - Penrith Panthers    

Employment: Fulltime NRL Squad

Education: Bachelor of Physiotherapy at WSU

He played in the NSW u-16s, u-18s and u-20s Origin sides. He played last year and this is his fifth year in the development program, and is a tireless worker, we’ve got big wraps on him. A tradesmen like performer, he does his job, good motor and always ready to go.

 

9.   Grant Garvey - Sydney Roosters

Employment: Gym Assistant

Education: Cert III - Sport and Recreation

Grant is another one who played last year because he’s a good aggressive player, gets a lot of good touches out of dummy half and will have a good combination with the halves pairing.

 

10.    Alex Twal - Parramatta Eels       

Employment: Fulltime NRL Squad

Education: Bachelor of Business & Commerce @ ACU

This is the second year of u-20s for Alex, and played u-18s too so he’s a guy that’s been in the program for several years. He’s very similar to Oliver Clark, a good motor and will just keep going.

 

11.    Tyrell Fuimaono - Parramatta Eels   

Employment: Fulltime NRL Squad

Education: Bachelor of Business & Commerce at WSU

Tyrell was one of our best last year in the u-20s, was definitely in the top three players. He’s a classy centre/back rower, strong on the edges; he’s another kid that’s played u-16s, u-18s and u-20s for NSW. Great footwork, strong fend, good ball-carrier and a strong aggressive defender.

 

12.    Bayley Sironen - Wests Tigers  

Employment: Fulltime NRL Squad

Education: Bachelor of Marketing & Business at ACU

Bayley will do his job on that edge, he’s been pretty good for the Wests Tigers. He’s another one with a good engine, he will make his tackles and do his job, and will look to link with his outside backs as well.

 

13.    Nat Butcher - Sydney Roosters

Employment: Fulltime NRL Squad

Education: Diploma of Financial Planning

If you haven’t seen his stats, look them up. Butch has a great motor, leading the NYC in a lot of areas, he’s just a work-a-holic, a great kid with a massive future in the game.

 

14.    Zac Woolford - Canberra Raiders

Employment: Cleaner

Education: University Foundation Course at UC

Second year in u-20s and is a big improver, he’ll get out of dummy half and gets the forwards coming onto the ball. He’s a great talker, very aggressive, and good to have around camp too, he’s very chirpy, a bit like his old man.

 

15.    Taniela Paseka - Wests Tigers

Employment: Factory Labourer

Education: Diploma of Business

Big Taniela has probably been the find of the past couple of months in the NYC. He’s got a huge frame and is a powerful runner of the ball, and he’s devastating in defence when he gets a hold of guys. He’s a kid who is only 18 that will be training full time with the Wests Tigers next year and they have earmarked him for big things.

 

16.    Max Elliott - Brisbane Broncos

Employment: Warehouse Administator 

Education: Bach of Sport and Exercise Science at ACU

Max is a product of Lismore, very similar to Oliver Clark and Alex Twat in terms of his big engine and a good work ethic. He moved from the Gold Coast up to the Broncos. Just a tradesmen-like front-rower, he will carry the ball for you all day, poke his nose through the defence and get a good play the ball, and he’ll wrap up the middle too.

 

17.    Tevita Cottrell - South Sydney Rabbitohs

Education and Employment: Landscape Gardener

Education: Bachelor of Sports Science @ ACU

Tevita could play centre or in the back-row, a product of the South Sydney system who has been here before in the u-16s and u-18s. He knows what’s expected of him, and when he’s given his chance he’ll come on and fill a couple of spots in the side. A devastating ball runner and a strong defender.