Freddy's U-18s Origin Verdict
1. John Fonua (Parramatta Eels)
I’ve watched John for a while, he’s adapted to playing under-20s quite easily, and he’s very strong and confident in what he is doing.
2. Sebastian Kris (Canberra Raiders)
He did a great job for us a couple of years ago by making some really good decisions in defence which is important for a winger, and I just like him, he’s a good guy.
3. Noel Aukafolau (Parramatta Eels)
Noel came in for Campbell Graham. He is really strong, a pretty unassuming type of bloke, he doesn’t look overly big, but when I’ve watched him a couple of times he’s really strong and tough to tackle so he’ll be very important coming out of trouble.
4. Zac Lomax (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Zac is capable of doing anything; he’s the gifted one. It will be interesting to see where his career goes, but he’s a really good footy player.
5. Ethan Parry (Parramatta Eels)
He did a great job in the finals this year, scored three tries in the Grand Final and then performed in the National Championship. Big game player.
6. Jaeman Salmon (Cronulla Sharks)
He’s been in the system for a while Jaeman, and he really did a great job with his Cronulla team this year and I think he’s a player of the future.
7. Luke Metcalf (Cronulla Sharks)
Cronulla has done really well lately, and that’s on the back of players like Luke Metcalf. He just knows his job, a great supporter, a good kicker, teams that he plays in generally win.
8. Oregon Kaufusi (Parramatta Eels)
Plays in the front row in the under-20s at Parramatta, he’s not overly huge, but he competes in that grade quite easily so I look forward to watching him go.
9. Kyle Schneider (Parramatta Eels)
Schneider has the attitude that will see him play a lot of footy, after a couple of pre seasons I think he’ll be a first grader no doubt.
10. Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos)
Payne has been part of this system for a long time; he’s one of the better players in his age group. I deliberately made him captain just to see how he reacts; I don’t think it will be too long until we see him on the TV.
11. Filia Utoikamanu (Parramatta Eels)
I’ve seen a lot of Parramatta games and watched a lot of Filia, he plays on the edge and is very talented and a really strong player.
12. Joshua Curran (Sydney Roosters)
Josh has been a part of this system since the start, a very talented player that just got signed by the Roosters so a lot is going on with him at the moment but he’s a footballer, he knows what’s going on.
13. Lindsay Smith (Penrith Panthers)
Lindsay is a Penrith boy, and a work-a-holic with plenty of skill. He’s a pretty good cricketer so if he chooses to play footy when he becomes strong enough he will be playing first grade for a long time.
14. Jake Hazard (Sydney Roosters)
I watched him play in a school game a couple of years ago out in Campbelltown and he was pretty impressive then. For a little bloke he’s the biggest hitter in the team; he’s one tough little dude and watching him go about the week he’s got some class about him too.
15. Alex Seyfarth (Balmain Tigers)
He’s a big bloke at the Tigers and a bit unassuming, he’s pretty aggressive, runs hard, offloads and scores tries so he’s a good player.
16. Duwayne Fuimaono (Sydney Roosters)
I had him a couple of years ago, he’s one of those blokes where footy is their main priority. I think he’ll do very well; he’s a real skilful player.
17. Teig Wilton (Cronulla Sharks)
Speaking to all of the scouts he was the one that kept coming up, he plays really well with Salmon and Metcalf can play a bit of centre and a bit of back-row. He’s got a great attitude, been a really great kid all week, so I look forward to seeing him get a run.
18. Elih Jackson (Central Coast Roosters)
Elih is just a really good fella, his dad actually went to the same school as me at Ashcroft so I watched his dad play a lot for Parramatta, and Mark O’Meley has a huge rap on him and says he’s just tough and keeps going. He seems to love the game and he’ll get his chance soon.