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Lewy's Debutant Watch | Speed demon unleashed

True Blue Luke Lewis casts his eye over the exciting Manly Warringah Sea Eagles speedster who is poised to officially graduate from The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup into the top grade in round one.

Tolu Koula has been named to make his NRL debut in the opening round of the 2022 season against defending premiers the Penrith Panthers.

A powerful outside back with devastating speed, Koula will come off the bench tonight for the Sea Eagles who will be looking to improve on a poor start to the 2021 season where they lost their opening four games, before going on to finish in the top four.

Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler was clearly impressed by Koula’s performances in the NRL trials, where he showed plenty of speed in open space after taking an intercept and going almost the length of the field to score a try.

Will Koula take the crown for fastest in the NRL in 2022?

While winger Jason Saab is the most renowned speedster at the club, Koula currently holds the GPS Schoolboys Open 100m record of 10.58 seconds which he set in 2019.

In 2021, Koula played SG Ball early in the season before making his debut in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, debuting for the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles.

He finished the year in NSW Cup with five games, five tries, three linebreaks, one linebreak assist and five offloads with an average of three tackle busts and 144.8 running metres per game.

Lewy says

“Koula has come through the grades out there at Manly, coming up against a really tough side on Thursday night against the mighty Panthers.

“He gets an opportunity to show the NRL what he can do and I really believe this kid can play.

“Fingers crossed we get to see him in open space and he can set the field alight.”

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.