In the lead-up to Wednesday night's Origin I curtain-raiser, NSW Under-20s coach Danny Buderus runs through his side ahead of Wednesday night’s all-important clash.
1. Nick Meaney (Newcastle Knights)
Work/Study: Bachelor of Teaching, UON
Nick Meaney is a very well-balanced runner, he’s been playing Intrust Super Premiership NSW all year so he’ll be confident coming back into this representative scene. I’m looking forward to him growing in confidence and communication, he’ll be a real steady influence in the back for us.
2. Isaac Lumelume (Cronulla Sharks)
Work/Study: Cert III Sport & Recreation Traineeship Sharks
Isaac is so happy in a lot of ways, he’s great to have around the camp, he has a great combination with Jesse Ramien so those two will work well together and he just wants to get involved. He just wants to do what’s best for the team, especially coming out of the back end of the field; he just loves getting his hands on the ball.
3. Jesse Ramien (Cronulla Sharks)
Work/Study: Certificate IV Youth Work
Jesse is big and strong; he usually plays right centre but he will play left centre for this match. He’s had a really successful season and hopefully he can bring that into the game on Wednesday night, but he’s also has a good presence out there in defence. He’s got a big job there because he’ll get a fair bit of traffic.
4. Curtis Scott (Melbourne Storm)
Work/Study: Certificate III Carpentry
Curtis is very experienced, played in this last year, I watched him in the Junior ’Roos a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been really impressed with his attitude in and around the camp. For his physique he is very strong, he punches through the line all the time coming out of the back end of the field and loves it. He loves that part of the game and I’m looking forward to him hopefully getting some nice, clean ball in good-ball territory and show his attacking skills as well.
5. Reuben Garrick (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Work/Study: Bachelor of Property and Real Estate Deakin Uni
Reuben is a big player with experience as he played last year so he knows what to expect. He’s a real fleet-footed and big winger so his attention to detail will be very important to us.
6. Jai Field (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Work/Study: Completed Diploma in Business
Jai is forming a new combination with Troy Dargan and Nick Meaney, while he plays with Reece Robson a fair bit. I just want him to back his own skills which is speed and playing off the cuff a little bit, I don’t want to structure him with too much shape but I want him to understand that it’s important to play the percentages sometimes by kicking to the corners and playing some Origin footy.
7. Troy Dargan (Parramatta Eels)
Work/Study: Certificate Property Management & Real Estate Licence
I’ve been really impressed with Troy. He wants to learn and wants the team to represent what he’s about and is someone that has had a really good few days. He’s a pleasure to have around the place and I’m really hoping he plays well on Wednesday night.
8. Emre Guler (Canberra Raiders)
Work/Study: Certificate IV Youth Work
I love watching Emre play the game, he’s got a real modern physique for a front-rower; he’s big hipped – Andrew Fifita-style – and he’s got an offload which I want him to use as well if the time is right. I understand what he is going to bring to the table so I’m encouraging guys to get around him and encourage his skill.
9. Reece Robson (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Work/Study: Cert III Sport & Recreation Traineeship Dragons
I’ve been really impressed with Reece’s attitude, ethic and understanding of how a hooker should play. He’s very calm and very experienced, defensively he’s really effective and he’ll play some big minutes for us.
10. Blake Lawrie (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Work/Study: Diploma in Business
“Blocker” is great to have around the camp with his attitude and his mentality and he’s just one of those front-rowers with the attitude of ‘let’s just do it,’ I won’t over-complicate his job too much. I love his skill and he is a man made for Origin, so he’s someone that is going to lead the team.
11. Cameron Murray (Captain, South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Work/Study: Cert IV Small Business Management
Cam is ultra-impressive, he’ll play left back-row and has a big job to do because they have some handy halves; he’ll be putting those guys under pressure. When he’s got the ball he plays really direct and plays a lot of minutes. He’ll be the captain for us as well.
12. Jack Murchie (Canberra Raiders)
Work/Study: Cert IV Youth Work/Teacher's Aide
Jack Murchie is on the right back-row for us and I want him to be heavily involved and play good minutes. He’s a real athletic type who is growing into the week, and we need to get him to find his voice. I think these matches, for someone like Jack, are really important because he will grow out of this and become better for it.
13. Nat Butcher (Sydney Roosters)
Work/Study: Financial Planning/Cert III in Sports Coaching
I haven’t had much to do with Nat as he just arrived in camp after being on stand-by with the Roosters. I’ve watched his big workload and he can knock out long minutes as well; he’s very direct and he’s pretty fresh because he hasn’t played too much footy this year, so he’s keen to get in and help out the team. I’m really looking forward to having him here.
14. Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters)
Work/Study: Completed Trade Carpentry/Cert IV Building & Construction
I love Vic, he’s got that aura about him and that confidence with a spring in his step he runs around camp with. He brings that to training as well and he’s got a great voice that we will be relying on.
15. Ray Stone (Parramatta Eels)
Work/Study: Certificate IV Learning Support/Teacher's Aide
“Stoney” has a job that won’t be over complicated, he’s physically mentally able, he’ll push through most things and he’s a guy who will block that middle up for us who is ready-made for Origin as well.
16. Stefano Hala (Penrith Panthers)
Work/Study: Cert III Sport & Recreation Traineeship Panthers
I love seeing Stefano coming out of his shell; I’ve challenged him to hang around a few guys to do that and challenged a few guys to get him out of his shell. Athletically he has a great physique to play this game but he’s going as the week is going on and he’s feeling more comfortable. That’s the thing with Stefano: he feels that he belongs here and we need to encourage him to play as well as he can.
17. Billy Magoulias (Cronulla Sharks)
Work/Study: Bachelor of Business, UOW
I knew what I was getting with Billy, he’s a leader amongst men and could play 80 minutes at the drop of a hat. We’ve got a lot of 80-minute guys that can play multiple positions so he’ll be in the middle, he’s got an offload and a bit of ball-playing so I want to encourage that.
18. Jai Whitbread (Brisbane Broncos)
Work/Study: Bachelor of Health and Exercise Science, QUT
Jai is a real professional from Brisbane, a good system up there – he’s learned off a few players that we’ll be playing against I’m sure. He’s been really impressive to have around the camp and he’s a year young, so if not this year he will definitely get his chance next year.
19. Jayden Okunbor (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Work/Study: Completed Cert III & IV Education Support/Cert IV Fitness
Jayden has been great. He came in because Nat Butcher was a chance to play first grade which would have ruled him out for the game on Wednesday night. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Jayden, he’s got a good story to tell and he’s an impressive kid on and off the field; he’s only going to keep growing as a player as he gets older.
The NSW v Queensland Under-20s clash will be live-streamed on www.NSWRL.com.au from 5:15pm on Wednesday night