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Coached by current North Queensland Cowboys coach Todd Payten, the New South Wales Under 18s 2015 side would go on to feature 591 games of NRL experience, a future NRL Premiership winner and Clive Churchill Medallist, a record-breaking point scorer and a NSW Cup miracle man.

The team played the curtain raiser for Game Two of the 2015 Origin series at the MCG. The Young Blues shot out to an early lead through Ryan Papenhuyzen and Curtis Scott but fell agonisingly short after Queensland fought back for a 22-18 win.

Six years on, nswrl.com.au takes a look back at some of the players who have gone on to forge great careers.

NSW 18s Origin

Ryan Papenhuyzen

Ryan Papenhuyzen’s rise to NRL stardom has been nothing short of spectacular. After leaving Wests Tigers to join Melbourne Storm, Papenhuyzen made his NRL debut in Round 4 of the 2019 season and he has gone on to much greater heights since then.

Papenhuyzen’s breakout performance came just weeks later in a blockbuster magic round clash against Parramatta Eels. The current Storm fullback played just 32 minutes off the bench and finished the match with a try, 137 running metres, three linebreaks, two linebreak assists, two try assists and six tackle busts in a resounding 64-10 victory.

After starting the year off the bench, Papenhuyzen eventually forced his way into the starting fullback role and has since solidified his position as one of the game’s most electrifying players. 

His best year came in 2020, where he played a pivotal role in the Storm’s Grand Final victory over Penrith Panthers. Papenhuyzen would go on to score an impressive solo try and was eventually awarded the Clive Churchill Medal.

Not long after, Papenhuyzen joined the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues extended squad for the 2020 State of Origin series in November but injury affected his chances of selection.

Read more: NSW U18s: 2011, NSW U18s: 2012, NSW U18s: 2013, NSW U18s: 2014

Reuben Garrick

After coming through the Dragons pathways, Reuben Garrick made the switch to the northern beaches of Sydney for the 2019 season. He has since represented Australia at the Rugby League World Cup Nines, the Prime Minister’s XIII and has gone on to become one of the game’s most prolific point scorers.

Garrick made his NRL debut in Round 1 of the 2019 season and has been a mainstay in the Sea Eagles side ever since.

This season proved to be a record-breaking year for the Gerringong local after he broke several club and NRL records. Garrick finished the year as the NRL’s top point scorer, was named Dally M Winger of the Year and set a club record for most points in a season with 334 points from 23 tries and 121 goals at a conversion rate of 81.8%.

He also became the first player to score 20 tries and kick 100 goals in a season and he broke the record for most points by a player in a regular NRL season.

After scoring more than 300 points in 2021, Garrick sits second behind another goalkicking winger in Hazem El-Masri as the only players to score more than 300 points in a season.

Billy Magoulias

Blessed with the ability to play anywhere from hooker, five-eighth, and lock, Magoulias has recently signed with Warrington Wolves in the Super League for 2022 after playing 16 NRL games for Cronulla Sharks from 2019-2021.

While Magoulias has plenty of football in front of him, it’s his miracle boot that has captured the attention of Rugby League fans. In the 2019 NSW Cup Grand Final, Magoulias chipped over the top to set up the winning try for the Newtown Jets in the 88th minute after the game went into extra- time.

Just one week later, Magoulias was the difference yet again after chipping over the Burleigh Bears defensive line for Jackson Ferris to finish with just five seconds left on the clock in the NRL State Championship final.

Magoulias made his NRL debut a few months prior in Round 19 against the Cowboys which the Sharks would go on to win 16-14.

NSW U18s 2015 side

Ryan Papenhuyzen – Balmain Tigers (57 NRL Games)
Reimis Smith - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (74 NRL Games)
Curtis Scott – Cronulla Sharks (72 NRL Games)
Jesse Ramien – Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (74 NRL Games)
Reuben Garrick – St George Dragons (70 NRL Games)
Brock Lamb – Newcastle Knights (33 NRL Games)
Jack Cogger – Newcastle Knights (42 NRL Games)
Daniel Vasquez – Cronulla Sharks (1 NRL Game)
Daniel Peck – Balmain Tigers
Blake Lawrie – St George Dragons (79 NRL Games)
Brodie Jones – Newcastle Knights (42 NRL Games)
Ray Stone – Western Suburbs Magpies (28 NRL Games)
Gabe Hamlin – South Sydney Rabbitohs
Brock Ilett – Cronulla Sharks
Billy Magoulias – Cronulla Sharks (16 NRL Games)
Billy Bainbridge – Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (3 NRL Games)
Sam Elliott – Gold Coast Titans