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What You Need to Know about the 2024 Harold Matthews Cup

The NSWRL has run its eyes over the Junior Reps competitions starting this weekend (Saturday 3 February) to highlight a few of the personnel changes as well as motivational factors for some clubs in 2024.

The first competition under the microscope is the UNE Harold Matthews Cup for Under 17s:

Melbourne Storm and New Zealand Warriors added to competition 

The 2024 UNE Harold Matthews Cup (Under 17s) welcomes the addition of Melbourne Storm and New Zealand Warriors teams this year.  

The two new teams sees the competition expand to 17 teams with each club playing eight games across nine rounds.  

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles hoping club legend’s influence brings better results 

The Sea Eagles finished at the bottom of the table in 2023, a far cry from their 2021 premiership-winning season.   

But the 2024 squad includes numerous players from last year’s Under 16s development team, which was coached by 2008 premiership-winning captain and club legend Matt Orford.   

One new face in the Eagles squad is halfback Beau Alexander, son of True Blue and premiership-winning halfback Greg Alexander.  

Central Coast Roosters to build on regional juniors success  

The Central Coast Roosters are another team looking to improve this year after finishing 13th in 2023.  

The squad has had success in regional leagues, with the majority of this year’s squad coming from the premiership-winning Under 16s SLE Andrew Johns Cup last season. 

One such player is backrower Darcy Smith, who was the 2023 Andrew Johns Cup Grand Final Player of the Match, and part of the NSW Koori Under 17s team. 

 Penrith out for redemption  

The Penrith Panthers put an emphatic end to the 2023 regular season with a commanding 52-6 win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs to claim the Minor premiership.  

Three weeks later, the Bulldogs defeated the Panthers in the Semi-final on their way to winning the competition.  

The 2024 squad are sure to use last year’s results as motivation.  

Helping the Panthers will be the return of numerous players from last year’s team, including Jhett Sydir (pictured above) and Nathaniel Tolu.  

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.

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