18 STARS OF 2018 | Kaeo Weekes
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 look at a crafty five-eighth who has a bright future ahead of him.
As one of our youngest future stars, there's still a long way to go for five-eighth Kaeo Weekes - but in the opportunities he's had so far, he's already turned plenty of heads.
Having excelled as a sprinter in school, Weekes combined his speed with ball-playing ability to dominate for Manly in the 2017 Harold Matthews Cup - his first taste of junior representative Rugby League. Despite playing a year earlier than many of his teammates and opposition, Weekes notched up 11 tries - equal third-most in the competition - including this fine effort in the semi-finals against Illawarra.
After finishing the regular season in fifth, the Sea Eagles continued to progress to the decider, where they found themselves up against minor premiers the Knights at Leichhardt Oval. What seemed like a certain Manly victory ended in heartbreak as Newcastle levelled in the final minute of play, before scoring again in Golden Point Extra Time - but Weekes' performance was a highlight for the Sea Eagles.
It earned Weekes a selection in the 2017 Under-16s side to take on Queensland, where he would play his part in yet another last-minute thriller. This time Weekes was victorious as NSW won 22-16 at Suncorp Stadium, guiding his side well once again.
Weekes is still eligible for NSW Under-16s selection and appears set to feature for the side once again in 2018. Until then, he will play for the Sea Eagles in the Harold Matthews Cup as they look to make up for last season's grand-final defeat.