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20 stars for 2022 | Xavier Savage

Canberra Raiders outside back Xavier Savage was one of the star attractions who made their NRL debut in 2021.

And despite his season ending prematurely after a shoulder injury, he certainly left a few defenders in his wake during his three games.

What’s more, Savage’s performances in that handful of games might see him in a starting backline position when he returns to the field in 2022.

For fans who have seen the Canberra speedster in the clear or among broken play, Savage invariably breaks a game open with blinding pace and quick footwork.

The youngster is already in the conversation for the title of ‘fastest man in league’ with the likes Josh Addo-Carr, Jason Saab and Alex Johnston. So it won’t come as a surprise to learn that Savage is a former Queensland Junior Athletics champion in 100m, 200m and even long jump.

He’s an athlete in every sense of the word, yet the 19-year-old ultimately chose to make a name for himself in rugby league, landing at the Sydney Roosters SG Ball team before signing with the Raiders in 2019.

This year Savage was part of the Raiders SG Ball Cup campaign that led to a Grand Final appearance, finishing the season with three tries, one try-assist, five line-breaks, two line break assists and 25 tackle busts from six games played.

He then made the leap to The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, scoring a hat-trick in his first outing and playing five matches before getting his NRL call-up in Round 15.

Looking ahead to 2022, however, the possibilities are endless for Savage as he continues to develop in a Raiders jersey with plenty of talent at his disposal.

Keep an eye out for Savage, but blink and you will miss him.