You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
An Immortal's connection with the NSW Koori U17s side

The fingerprints of Immortal Arthur Beetson have extended to the 2024 NSW Koori Under 17s side, who play the Queensland Murri team this weekend (Saturday 24 February) in Brisbane.

Not only is one squad member, Xavier Williams-Byers, a descendant of players Beetson recruited for the Sydney Roosters, but the NSW side this year is being coached by one of his sons, Mark Beetson.

It was Beetson Snr who recruited Wilfred Williams and then his son Joe Williams, who is the assistant coach of the 2024 side. Xavier is Joe’s nephew and Wilfred’s grandson.

“Definitely a lot of synergies there. Dad had a lot to do with the Williams family over the years – Wilfred was one of the toughest and most solid men you’d ever meet,” he said of the man who played for NSW Country Firsts in 1984 and then made his first grade debut with the Roosters in 1985.

“As for Joey and Xavier it’s amazing to see the family tree still active in Rugby League.”

It is also nice to see another Beetson in the coaching ranks after Arthur was captain-coach of the Roosters in the late 1970s and mid-1980s.

Mark is a part-time player development and recruitment officer with the club and is channelling some of his father’s genes in being able to identify talent for the Koori side.

“We had a lot of great players in the camps we ran before Christmas and thanks to the depth coming through the excellent NSWRL system and pathways in the bush as well the city means the quality of our team is very good,” Beetson.

Queensland won last year’s match 32-10 to claim the Steve ‘Bear’ Hall Shield honouring the late First Nations legend. Hall was instrumental in starting the Under 16s-17s Koori program in 2003 and was the original NSW team manager.

Nineteen players left Sydney on Thursday with a mission to return the shield south.

“Culture is very important to these guys but they are also playing for their state. They love the Blues jersey, it means a lot as well,” Beetson said.

A captain will be announced at the jersey presentation on Friday night.

Kick-off on Saturday at the Logan Metro Sports Complex is at 4pm (Qld time), 5pm (NSW).

The match will be live-streamed on the QMC APP, which can be downloaded for free.

The NSW Koori Under 17s team (in alphabetical order)

Ashton Allen, Jace Baker, Jaylan Bishop, Glassie Glassie, Lincoln Hansen, Lucas Harding, Joshua Howard, Lewis Jones, Dwayne Lyons, Izaak Moggridge, Billy Mullheren, Braydon Nean, Kyron Nixon-Croaker, Kaidyn Peckham, Tyreke Peckham, Isaiah Russell, Kohen Sines, Kory Taaffe, Sol Tuiletufuga, Xavier Williams-Byers. Coach: Mark Beetson. Assistant Coach: Joe Williams. 

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.

Platinum Partner

Major Partners

View All Partners