PREVIEW | NSW U-18s v Qld U-18s

The NSW under-18s look to emulate last year’s efforts when they take on their Queensland counterparts at ANZ Stadium at 5:15pm tonight.

The team gathered in Sydney Olympic Park last Friday to commence camp, and were graced by the guidance of Brad Fittler, Danny Buderus, Paul Sironen, Mark O’Meley, and Jamie Feeney.

Payne Haas – the youngest member of the side – captains the team tonight; a ploy deliberately used by coach Fittler to see how the rising star handles the occasion.

He stands at 194 centimetres and 117 kilograms, and is a player who Fittler describes as one of the best players in his age group with a bright future ahead of him.

The Cronulla Sharks’ halves – Jaeman Salmon and Luke Metcalf - will pair up tonight to steer the team around the park, as they did all year for their club.

The two took the Sharks to a Grand Final that went down to a Parramatta led by Kyle Schneider, who lines up at hooker for the young Blues this evening.

Schneider is a player that has greatly impressed Fittler, and he believes that alike Haas, he will be a future NRL player one day with a few pre seasons under his belt. 

One of the most skilful young players at the moment is Zac Lomax, who is currently playing for the St George Illawarra Dragons under-20s side.

Lomax played in the corresponding fixture last year; scoring two tries in NSW’s 26-0 shutout of the Maroons, and is one of the biggest threats in the side who Queensland will hope to shut down.

Outside him will be Ethan Parry, who scored a hat-trick in the SG Ball Grand Final this year, and then scored another in the National Championship against the Western Mustangs, where he earned man of the match honours.

Fullback John Fonua is also at the Eels and has been playing under-20s this year, something he has adapted to quite easily despite still being eligible for under-18s.

Be sure to watch the NSW under-18s live on NSWRL.com.au.