Despite enjoying a record-breaking season in the 2017 Under-20s competition and dominating for the Newtown Jets this year, Kyle Flanagan has never played in a junior State of Origin fixture or equivalent whilst coming up in the ranks.
That is, until this Sunday, where he will play halfback for the Intrust Super NSW Residents team before State of Origin Game Two at ANZ Stadium and is in the mix to be a part of the NSW Under-20s team in three weeks time.
Last year, Flanagan broke the point scoring record in the now defunct National Youth Competition - scoring 20 tries and 140 goals – and is still eligible for the Jersey Flegg competition. The Sharks are playing him in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW to fast-track his development, and playing at ANZ Stadium on Sunday for the Residents is a reward for his stellar form.
“It’s the first time I’ve got the chance to play a State of Origin so I can’t wait and hopefully we can get one over Queensland,” Flanagan says to NSWRL.com.au.
“[ANZ Stadium] will be packed for the main game after ours, but hopefully there are a few supporters there cheering us on.
“The footy that I’ve been playing at Newtown has probably got me here, and I’m stoked to be able to be picked for the Residents.”
Coached by Shane Millard with Guy Missio as his assistant, Flanagan, along with the other 18 players have a golden opportunity to learn a great deal throughout the week that will hopefully get them a result against Queensland.
There is already a fair bit of continuity in the side with five Newtown players selected, but Flanagan doesn’t hide his excitement to play, train and camp alongside some of the greatest talent in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW desperately trying to break into the NRL.
“It’s good to have those faces around the camp, but it’s always good to see the other boys as well that have been playing good footy for the other clubs,” Flanagan says.
“I want to learn from the staff here, plus learn from the other players, how they play the game and to play on one of the best arenas.
“I’m stoked to be here, it’s good to see the boys from other teams and I can’t wait for next Sunday.”
The Intrust Super NSW Residents match against Queensland will be live streamed on NSWRL.com.au with a 4.10pm kick-off this Sunday.