To whet the appetite ahead of the 2018 Rugby League season, NSWRL.com.au looks at some of the up-and-coming male and female stars who will hope to represent NSW. Today, we run the eye over a promising playmaker who’s already represented the Blues at under-age level.
NSWRL Pathways prodigy Luke Metcalf finds a new home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches in 2018, having escaped the Cronulla Sharks’ net to sign with the Manly Sea Eagles on a three-year deal.
The Coffs Harbour product shone for Cronulla in the SG Ball Cup last season, guiding the National Champions of two years prior into the 2017 competition decider.
A dynamic, tough half with a knack for scoring long-range tries, Metcalf topped the 2017 SG Ball pointscorers’ list, scoring 138 of Cronulla’s 320 regular-season tally.
Despite the Sharks falling to the Parramatta Eels in the SG Ball Grand Final, Metcalf’s form warranted selection in the NSW Under-18s side that downed Maroons at ANZ Stadium ahead of Origin II – Metcalf himself crossing for a hat-trick in the 35-28 win.
“I moved to Sydney [in 2013] knowing that I’d get an opportunity down the road. I knew that if I wanted to make a career out of footy, I’d have to move out of Coffs,” Metcalf says.
“Once I was in the Sharks development, I found myself in the Harold Matthews, and progressed through to the ranks there.”
Making his Holden Cup (Under-20s) debut with the Sharks before last season’s end, Metcalf began training with his new club in the lead up to the Christmas break.
Picking the brains of experienced Sea Eagles NRL half Daly Cherry-Evans, alongside Intrust Super Premiership NSW pivot Jackson Hastings, the 19-year-old hopes to consolidate the lessons learned ahead of the revamped Jersey Flegg competition this year.
“Being able to train with people who have played a lot of NRL games and learning from their experience, I’m happy to be training alongside them,” Metcalf says.
“It’s really only just beginning, I’m only in my first pre-season. I’m trying to do everything, so hopefully I one day get a chance