“It’s a great opportunity for these guys, especially if they have NRL dreams” is how Newcastle Rebels junior coach Adam Hall summed up the selection of his young brigade for the upcoming 2021 Tri Series.
Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL) selectors unveiled a squad this week brimming with flair to face the likes of Illawarra and Canberra from next month.
The outfit – boasting teens from the Central Newcastle Butcher Boys, Cessnock Goannas, Lakes United Seagulls, Macquarie Scorpions, Northern Hawks, South Newcastle Lions and Western Suburbs Rosellas – will tackle its South Coast counterparts away from home on 16 May before locking horns with the ACT line-up at the Maitland Sportsground on 26 June.
“With these teams, it’s a terrific pathway if they’ve got aspirations to make it in the NRL,” Hall said.
“You never know who could be watching.
“If they put their best foot forward, it can only enhance their chances of being noticed – or even picked up by a club.”
The Butcher Boys dominate the representative side with Ethan Campbell, Lachlan O’Brien, Kurt Donoghoe, Travhon Lemalama and Tyler Doney earning a well-deserved call-up.
“I think it’s a really strong squad, there’s plenty of talent across the board,” Hall said.
“The majority of the boys have come through rep systems.
“So, hopefully, it will be an easy transition for them over the next few weeks.
“Fingers crossed, they’ll all gel.
“Luckily, they pretty much know each other already, which helps.”
While excited by the group’s collective ability at his disposal, Hall admits he keen to see the development of Donoghoe, Cessnock’s Harvey Neville and Western Suburbs’ Max Buderus.
“Kurt and Harvey have been playing first grade for their respective clubs for the past 12 to 18 months,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.
“I’d like to think those guys will step up – and lead the side.
“As for Max, I’ve watched him play 18s and 19s.
“He gets the team around the park quite well.
“So, I’m looking forward to being involved with him, too.
“At the end of the day, all the boys have earned the right to be here.
“It’s now my role to guide them through the next step.”
(Coach Adam Hall): Ethan Campbell (Central Newcastle), Lachlan O’Brien (Central Newcastle), Kurt Donoghoe (Central Newcastle), Travhon Lemalama (Central Newcastle), Tyler Doney (Central Newcastle), Harrison Spruce (Cessnock), Harry Whitfield (Cessnock), Harvey Neville (Cessnock), Joseph Barber (Cessnock), Cohen Geelan (Lakes United), Ryan Potts (Lakes United), Sam Smith (Lakes United), Sione Tuitupou-Kutu (Lakes United), Callan Briggs (Macquarie), Ryan Weatherall (Northern Hawks), Carlin Pettit (South Newcastle), Tom Reynolds (South Newcastle), Zac Jones (South Newcastle), Max Buderus (West Newcastle), Pat Achurch (West Newcastle)