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20 stars for 2020 | Tommy Talau

Wests Tigers’ young gun Tommy Talau ticked all the boxes at junior level before earning promotion from the club’s Development Player list in 2019, and with a pre-season alongside the top squad he is likely to add to his sole NRL appearance in Round 22 this year.

Coming from serious football pedigree in former Bulldogs, New Zealand and Samoa great Willie Talau, the young centre earned a call-up to the NSW under-18s in 2015 after leading the try-scoring tally for Canterbury-Bankstown in the SG Ball Cup. Talau went on to represent the Australian Schoolboys having plied his trade at one of New South Wales’ rugby league nurseries - Westfield Sports High School.

The newly-signed Talau didn’t take long to make his way back into the NSW program this season when he was named 18th man in the victorious under-20 squad. Despite not appearing in the starting line-up for NSW, Talau will no doubt take crucial experience from training among the state’s best for his age.

The Moorebank junior has been quick to make a name for himself in 2019 after making the step up from the Jersey Flegg competition to Canterbury Cup NSW, making nine appearances for the Western Suburbs Magpies en route to a first-grade debut.

With the future looking very bright for Talau, there is every chance that the damaging centre is fast-tracked into the Tigers’ best 17 following the departure of Kiwi international Esan Marsters to the Cowboys.

After a year that saw him average more than 100 run metres and 3.5 tackle-breaks from nine Canterbury Cup NSW games, there is a lot to look forward to as Talau aims for another opportunity in the Tigers’ NRL side for 2020.