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10 to Watch in '24 | Caleb Navale

A second generation talent coming through the ranks in Brookvale, lock forward Caleb Navale is quickly making name for himself at the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.

Navale has been part of the Sea Eagles’ pathways since 2022 after making the move from St George Illawarra Dragons, but the past season has been one of his best yet – even with the added responsibility of captaining the Jersey Flegg Cup side.

The promising Fijian led from the front with a strong campaign in the Under 21s competition, that he earned the club’s Jersey Flegg Best and Fairest award for 2023.

In his 20 appearances for the year, Navale scored six tries, had a try assist, made five line-breaks and 30 tackle-busts, averaging 108.1 run metres and 27.8 tackles.

But the rewards didn’t stop there for the 20-year-old as he was selected in the Fiji Bati squad for the inaugural Pacific Championships tournament, 23 years on from when his father, Eparama, made his international debut in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.

Navale played all three Tests in the Pacific Championships with an average of 103 run metres and 31 tackles. He also scored a try in the 43-16 win over Papua New Guinea.

Still eligible to compete in the 2024 Jersey Flegg Cup, Navale’s Under 21s side will be looking to secure a finals spot after finishing four points short in 2023.

But following his recent achievements it might not be long until Navale earns a start in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, or even NRL, in the season to come.

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