18 STARS Of 2018 | Jaron Purcell

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 last year’s NSW Under-16s captain: Jaron Purcell.

A real leader of his age group, Jaron Purcell had as close as you can get to the perfect season last year. He scored the winning try in extra time to win the Harold Matthews Grand Final in the SG Ball for Newcastle, before captaining NSW Under-16s to their thrilling victory in the final seconds.

Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler has plenty of raps on young Purcell, even comparing him to a fellow Origin legend.

“Jaron just doesn’t stop and he keeps going and going and going, much like Danny Buderus,” Fittler tells NSWRL.com.au.

“He has a simple attitude, anything you tell him to do he does, and he pushes everyone hard. I’m really happy with how he’s gone [in NSW under-16s camp].

“He won the game for the Knights in the Grand Final by scoring a try in extra time.”

If that compliment from NSW’s most-capped Blue and the match-winning try in extra time wasn’t enough, Purcell also earned man-of-the-match honours in the Under-16s Origin game.

The born leader looks for another strong season in the junior representative ranks for the Knights, and will aim to secure a spot in the NSW Under-18s team after a big year in the SG Ball.