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Toovey sees the talent coming through NSW ranks

True Blue Geoff Toovey is hoping he will see a few faces from his NSW Under 17s invitational team move up to the Under 19s State of Origin side in 2024.

Toovey is coaching the NSW Under 17s invitational side in a tour match against the Under 17s Warrington Wolves at HE Laybutt Stadium in western Sydney on Saturday (4 November).

The 18-player squad came into the NSWRL Centre of Excellence today as part of their four-day camp to prepare for the match.

Toovey said the boys would have a taste of elite-level football by using the same facilities that other NSW representative teams use, including the Westpac NSW Blues and Sky Blues.

“That’s the idea. There’s no NSW Under 17s team at this stage but having said that, the Under 19s team this year had six 18-year-olds in it, so most of these guys will be 18 next year,” Toovey told

“If they’re consistent with their standard of footy then they’re a real chance to make that 19s side next year.”

The invitational side to face Warrington has been drawn from UNE Harold Matthews Cup (Under 17s) and SLE Laurie Daley Cup (Under 18s) sides.

Toovey will only have three extended field sessions with them before the match.

“We just give them some basic structure. It’s a one-off game so we can’t confuse them too much obviously,” he said. 

“But they’re a very smart team, they’ve been selected for this team because they’re quality players and smart footballers.

“You don’t need to say the same thing to them three or four times. They get it the first time when it comes to understanding their role.”

Toovey also called on True Blues Nathan Hindmarsh, Steve Menzies, and former NSW Origin and Australian Kangaroos captain Boyd Cordner, to address the boys, and help supervise training.

“It’s great to have mentors like them to talk to the players to remind them it takes all types to make up a great team, both in defence and attack,” Toovey said.

“Everyone has their own skills, to be the best that you can be on the football field means you’ll be doing a great job for the whole team.”

Saturday 4 November
11am, HE Laybutt Sporting Complex

NSW Invitational Under 17s: Mitchell Brophy (Canberra Raiders), James Croker (Canberra Raiders), Jaxen Edgar (Penrith Panthers), Dominic Farrugia (Parramatta Eels), Zac Fittler (Sydney Roosters), Jezaiah Funa-luta (Parramatta Eels), Jacob Halangahu (St George Dragons), Zane Harrison (Northern Rivers Titans), Jack Hilliar (Newcastle Knights), Cody Hopwood (Newcastle Knights), Simione Laiafi (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Hokafonu Lemoto (Penrith Panthers), Casey McLean (Penrith Panthers), Lleyton Moore (North Coast Bulldogs), Toby Rodwell (Sydney Roosters), Harry Wald (Western Rams), Nikora Williams (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Mitchell Woods (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs). Coach: Geoff Toovey.

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