As far as rising stars go, Shawn Blore nears the top of the list.
The Penrith Brothers junior has an impressive junior representative resume, with his most recent achievement being selection in the Junior Kangaroos team two years young. As a developing forward that is quite an achievement.
NSW Under-18s coach Mark O’Meley described Blore as a natural leader earlier this year, and said that he has NRL written all over him. He pulled off a tackle in the Under-18s Origin game on his own line that stopped a certain try, it was the definition of an ‘Origin play’.
For the Panthers, there is not much more that Blore could have achieved in 2018.
He captained the SG Ball team to a premiership and then backed it up a week later to lead the side to the National Championship in Queensland. He then graduated to the Jersey Flegg team where he played nine games, and even made three appearances in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW.
Despite being one of the better players for his age in the country, Blore said that he is an open book when it comes to learning, progression and development when speaking to NSWRL.com.au earlier in the year.
“I probably just try to better myself as a person, off the field more than on it,” Blore said.
“In team meetings, at training, in groups, I always try to keep the talk up, just trying to improve my leadership qualities.
“That’s always something that the coach is looking for.”
Blore is progressing into an NRL player and given his small taste of senior football last year, he may turn out in the Intrust Super Premiership for most of next year. The last two NSW Under-18s captains (Cameron Murray and Payne Haas) went on to debut for their team the next year, so an NRL appearance may not be too far away for Shawn Blore.