William Burns is the ultimate reflection of the Penrith Panthers' successful junior development system and his rise to prominence in 2019 suggests he will be a mainstay in the NRL for years to come.
He was part of the club's UNE SG Ball Cup premiership-winning team in 2016, while having also represented the Australian Schoolboys in the same year and the CABE NSW Under-20's side in 2018.
He enjoyed a stunning 2019 campaign that saw him earn Canterbury Cup NSW Team of the Year honours and was voted as one of three finalists for the Player of the Year award.
He finished the Canterbury Cup NSW season with 12 tries, 11 line-breaks, and 57 tackle-breaks in just 20 appearances while averaging 95m and 25 tackles per game.
He was rewarded with an NRL debut in Round 24 against the Sydney Roosters before scoring his first two tries in the top-grade just one week later against the Newcastle Knights.
His best performance came in Round 7 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, where he produced three tries, one line-break, two tackle-breaks, 119m, and a mammoth 48 tackles to inspire a 20-18 victory.
He re-signed with the Panthers at the end of last year which will see him remain at the club until at least the end of 2022, and will certainly prove to be an invaluable part of their efforts to return to finals football this season.