True Blue Jamie Soward casts his eyes over the Canterbury Cup NSW graduates who are set to make their respective NRL debuts this weekend.
Tex Hoy has been waiting in the wings for a first-grade debut and will get a prime opportunity to showcase his talents when he lines up at fullback for the Newcastle Knights on Sunday.
He will replace suspended superstar Kalyn Ponga in the no,1 jersey having crafted his trade in the Jersey Flegg Cup and Canterbury Cup NSW in recent years.
His blistering performances at the NRL Nines at the start of the 2020 campaign was a glimpse of his lightning speed and will provide plenty of energy for the Novastrians in their efforts to remain undefeated.
Soward says: Tex Hoy certainly has the need for speed! You can't substitute anything for speed in Rugby League, and Hoy has it in spades. I'm really excited to watch him this weekend, ebcause if he gets half an opportunity it will be four points for Newcastle.
Alex Seyfarth has been a mainstay in the Western Suburbs Magpies Canterbury Cup NSW squad in recent years and will provide plenty of power off the interchange bench in his first-grade debut on Saturday..
He began his Wests Tigers career in the Jersey Flegg Cup squad in 2017 before enjyoing a stunning 2018 season that saw him voted as the club's Jersery Flegg Cup Player of the Year and represent the CABE NSW Under 18s side.
He will provide invaluable depth for Michael Maguire's squad in 2020 and will get his first chance to prove his worth in the top-grade against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.
Soward says: Alex Seyfarth is a hard-working back-rower who loves getting into the tough stuff and carries the ball really strongly. He'll provide plenty of momentum and go-forward when he takes the field on Saturday.
Cody Walker will be a significant loss for the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday night but rest assured Troy Dargan will leave no stone unturned when he dons the no.6 jumper alongside captain Adam Reynolds.
Billed as a blockbuster clash against arch-rival Sydney Roosters, Dargan will get his first taste of first-grade in one of the games of the round and will be a prime opportunity to prove his worth.
He represented the NSW Under 20's squad in 2017 and boasts a crafty ball-playing ability and will look to form a seamless combination with Reynolds, Latrell Mitchell and Damien Cook.
Soward says: Troy Dargan is a player with plenty of skill and will complement Adam Reynolds perfectly with his ball-playing ability. It's a big task going up against the defending premiers in your NRL debut but I'm sure he will do himself and the club proud.
The Newcastle Knights will boast two debutants this weekend with Christopher Randall earning a first-grade start alongside Tex Hoy.
Randall has been a core part of the Knights' Canterbury Cup NSW squad in recent years and been one of their most consitent performers.
Knocking on the door of an NRL debut, Randall will act as an invaluable utility option for coach Adam O'Briend with his versatility and potent runing game out of dummy-half.
Soward says: I'm really happy to see a player like Chris Randall earn his NRL debut. He provides so much energy having watched him in the Canterbury Cup NSW over a number of years and his ability to play in the halves will provide great depth for Adam O'Brien in 2020.
2020 Canterbury Cup NSW graduates
1. Toby Rudolf – Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (Round 1 v South Sydney Rabbitohs)
2. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown – Warriors (Round 1 v Newcastle Knights)
3. Jake Averillo – Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (Round 2 v North Queensland Cowboys)
4. Troy Dargan – South Sydney Rabbitohs (Round 3 v Sydney Roosters)
5. Alex Seyfarth – Wests Tigers (Round 3 v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
6. Tex Hoy – Newcastle Knights (Round 3 v Penrith Panthers)