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Talented Young ready to shine for Rebels


Cessnock Goannas star Jayden Young is keen to make the most of his opportunity to represent the Newcastle Rebels in 2022.

The talented second-rower will debut for the Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL) senior outfit when the Novocastrians tackle Canberra in the Tri Series opener in the ACT on Saturday 14 May.

Young gained the nod alongside team-mates Anthony Meleisea-Murray and Harry O’Brien following a number of standout performances in the local competition.

And, he’s ready to rip in.

“I was pretty excited to be selected,” Young said.

“It’s been a long-term ambition of mine.

“I’ve really worked towards rep footy the past two years.

“So, it’s nice to know it’s paid off.

“It is certainly a step in the right direction.”

The Rebels, under current Kurri Kurri Bulldogs mentor Aaron Watts, conquered the Tri Series in 2021, thrashing both Illawarra (36-4) and Canberra (48-8).

Young’s determined to ensure that ascendancy continues 12 months later with the new-look squad.

“The standard’s still high, it doesn’t matter who’s playing,” he said.

“Newcastle dominated both rivals last season so, personally, I have massive expectations.

“The boys smashed it in 2021; we’re aiming to do the same this time around.

“(New coach) Daniel Abraham has pointed out what he expects from me.

“He wants me to work over the edge and just do my job.

“To be honest, I’m one of my biggest critics.

“I critique myself every game – and I’m never satisfied.

“So, I’m eager to prove myself at this level.”

The young gun hasn’t ruled out a possible start in the NRL either.

“That’s another long-term goal,” he said.

“My brother has cracked it, so it gives me hope that dreams come true if you work hard enough.”

In the meantime, Young is focused on seeing the Goannas return to the winner’s list following a hard-fought 39-16 loss to the Maitland Pickers in round six of the Denton Engineering Cup.

Cessnock faces the Wyong Roos at Morry Breen Oval on 7 May.

“Obviously, the weekend was a setback,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.

“But, we’ve been a bit clunky so far this year.

“Having a few injuries – like captain-coach Harry Siejka – plus a couple of boys being picked up by the (Newcastle) Knights, hasn’t helped.

“They come in, come out each week, so forming combinations and fielding the same side can be difficult.

“Top three is our aim, we’ve spoken about that as a team, and we’re on track at this stage.”

In other round seven showdowns this weekend, the Western Suburbs Rosellas host The Entrance Tigers, the Lakes United Seagulls meet the South Newcastle Lions, the Bulldogs and Pickers go head-to-head, and the Central Newcastle Butcher Boys tackle the Macquarie Scorpions.

Newcastle Rebels representative squads

  • Seniors (coach Daniel Abraham): Cameron Anderson (Central Newcastle Butcher Boys), Gary Anderson (Maitland Pickers), Cal Burgess (Maitland Pickers), Jayden Butterfield (Maitland Pickers), Matt Cooper (Lakes United Seagulls), Ryan Glanville (South Newcastle Lions), Lewis Hamilton (South Newcastle Lions), Luke Higgins (Macquarie Scorpions), Anthony Meleisea-Murray (Cessnock Goannas), Matt Moon (Macquarie Scorpions), Harry O’Brien (Cessnock Goannas), Chad O’Donnell (Maitland Pickers), Jake O’Meley (Lakes United Seagulls), Nick Ritter (Central Newcastle Butcher Boys), Bayden Searle (Macquarie Scorpions), Matt Soper-Lawler (Maitland Pickers), James Taylor (Maitland Pickers), Jack Welsh (South Newcastle Lions), Joe Woodbury (Macquarie Scorpions), Jayden Young (Cessnock Goannas)
  • Under-20s (coach Scott Robinson): Kain Anderson (Central Newcastle Butcher Boys), Macauley Aoake (Western Suburbs Rosellas), Jhett Butler (South Newcastle Lions), Ethan Butterfield (Maitland Pickers), Hunter Dever (Kurri Kurri Bulldogs), Sam Fechner (Kurri Kurri Bulldogs), Reegan Glover (Lakes United Seagulls), Aden Jenkins (Northern Hawks), Logan Jones (South Newcastle Lions), Fletch Kennedy (Central Newcastle Butcher Boys), Takarei Kuru (South Newcastle Lions), Brody Linnane (Kurri Kurri Bulldogs), Tyrone Nean (Cessnock Goannas), Isaiah Olsen (Western Suburbs Rosellas), Hayden Regan (Cessnock Goannas), Sam Robinson (Central Newcastle Butcher Boys), Jackson Shade (Maitland Pickers), Jack Smith (Western Suburbs Rosellas), Aidan Storrie (Western Suburbs Rosellas), Jordan Wilson (Western Suburbs Rosellas)

Tooheys Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL)

Denton Engineering Cup

Round six results:

  • Central Newcastle Butcher Boys d The Entrance Tigers 16-12
  • South Newcastle Lions d Kurri Kurri Bulldogs 19-6
  • Maitland Pickers d Cessnock Goannas 39-16
  • Wyong Roos d Western Suburbs Rosellas 22-2
  • Macquarie Scorpions d Lakes United Seagulls 14-4

Round seven draw:

Saturday 7 May –

  • 3pm: Wyong Roos v Cessnock Goannas (Morry Breen Oval)
  • 3pm: Western Suburbs Rosellas v The Entrance Tigers (Harker Oval)
  • 3pm: Lakes United Seagulls v South Newcastle Lions (Cahill Oval)
  • 3pm: Kurri Kurri Bulldogs v Maitland Pickers (Kurri Kurri Sports Ground)

Sunday 8 May –

  • 3pm: Central Newcastle Butcher Boys v Macquarie Scorpions (St John Oval)

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