Competition - State of Origin U18's. Round - Game 2. Teams - Queensland Maroons v NSW Blues. Date - 22nd of June 2016. Venue - Suncorp Stadium

To kick off 2017, we take a look at some of the up-and-coming male and female stars who will hope to represent NSW this year and in the future. Today we look at a man who led the NSW Under-18 side to glory in 2016: Cameron Murray.

With a standout performance for the NSW Under-18 side last year, it’s little wonder that the South Sydney Rabbitohs have moved quickly to secure the future of Cameron Murray.

The Mascot Jets junior, who has played in the second row for the Rabbitohs’ Harold Matthews, SG Ball and Holden Cup outfits, has turned plenty of heads in his years in the NSWRL Pathways system so far. Murray captained the South Sydney under-16s side in 2014, before helping the under-18s to a grand final in 2015, also representing his state in his respective age group each year. Having also captained the Newington College XV in Rugby Union in 2015, Murray is talented in both codes, but that year signed a contract with the Rabbitohs which will see him through until the end of 2019.

Last season was a big one for Murray, who led the SG Ball side to a preliminary final, before being named in the state’s under-18s once again – this time as captain. That match, in front of a big audience, put Murray’s skills on display, as he earned man-of-the-match honours in the 26-0 shutout. A line-break and try-assist showed his ability in attack, while 31 tackles helped the team to a comprehensive victory.

Despite having just 11 opportunities for the Rabbitohs’ Holden Cup side this year, the 18-year-old still notched up nine line-breaks and 43 tackle-breaks, placing him third among his teammates. With significant captaincy experience, Murray has not only been touted as a future first-grader but a future leader of the club, meaning 2017 will be a big one for the second-rower.