A raft of Newcastle Knights’ junior players have gained selection in the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) 2016 under 16s and 18s Representative Pathways Programs.
The NSW State of Origin staff has identified talented players who show plenty of potential to experience their pathways program in preparation for their possible selection in State of Origin representative games against Queensland next year.
In the U16s NSWRL pathways squad, Knights Mathew Smith, Brock Gardner and Phoenix Crossland have been selected while in the U18s squad, Mathew Croker, Matthew Cooper, Kurtis Dark, Brodie Jones, Brendan O’Hagan and Tom Starling will also participate.
Troy Pezet, who has overseen the junior development system at the Newcastle Knights, believes it’s a massive achievement for the Club to have so many players identified in the representative program.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to have three players selected in the 16s and six in the U18s,” Pezet said.
“All those boys have played for NSW at some level in the past. It’s a great reward for them and a really good tick for our development programs.
“These boys have been recognised and are really enthusiastic about getting into camp and learning what they can from the State of Origin staff."
Last year Knights junior Matt Croker captained the NSW U16s State of Origin camp and now steps up to join the U18s squad.
Meanwhile, Brodie Jones and Tom Starling had a taste of the U20s NYC competition last year after a standout season with the Knights' SG Ball team.
The 2016 SG Ball and Harold Matthews competitions kick off in the second week of February.
NSWRL PATHWAYS SQUAD MEMBERS: