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20 stars for 2020 | Billy Burns

Billy Burns had a breakout year in 2019 after making his NRL debut with the Penrith Panthers as well as being named as their Canterbury Cup Player of the Year, so 2020 certainly looks promising.

Having played his junior rugby league with Parkes Spacemen, Burns relocated to Penrith and was a member of the club’s premiership-winning SG Ball side in 2016.

Burns progressed through the junior development pathways at Panthers and was their leading try-scorer in the Canterbury Cup side this year, with an impressive 12 tries from 20 games.

His efforts were rewarded with an NRL debut against Sydney Roosters in Round 24, where he played 35 minutes and made 19 tackles.

The following week, he bagged his first two NRL tries in the final game of the season during a 54-10 demolition of Newcastle.

Burns’ representative honours to date include selection in the Australian Schoolboys squad in 2016 and the NSW Under-20s side in 2018.

In October, the 21-year-old signed a new deal with Penrith, meaning he will remain with Panthers until at least the end of the 2022 season.

Upon signing, he told penrithpanthers.com.au his goals for next season: “Heading into next season I’m focused on locking down a spot in the NRL side and delivering consistent performances at that level.”

Penrith debuted nine players this season - more than any other club, so Burns will be surrounded by other young prospects like Matt Burton, Stephen Crichton and Spencer Leniu, as well as experienced players like Nathan Cleary and James Tamou who will be sure to help Burns prosper.