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Young Knights half caps off ‘amazing’ season

Meet Jock Madden.

The 18-year-old playmaker is one of the nib Newcastle Knights' brightest prospects and poised to run out at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the New South Wales under-18s on Wednesday night.

A five-eighth with attacking flair, the Scone product was crowned the SG Ball player of the competition earlier this year.

Knights youngsters Bradman Best, Phoenix Crossland, Jaron Purcell and Madden will face Queensland in the curtain raiser to Origin I on June 6.

Coached by former Blues enforcer Mark O'Meley, the Blues will be guided by Madden and Crossland in the halves.

According to Knights league pathways development coach, Scott Dureau, Madden is reaping the rewards of a breakout season in the SG Ball competition.

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"He had a massive year," Dureau said.

"He had 15 or so line breaks and the same amount of try assists.

"He really developed as the year went on and kept getting better and strong.

"He's had a fantastic year. He won the SG Ball player of the year and his Origin selection is well deserved.

"He's had a great year and he's going to top it off with a game for NSW."

While five Knights were selected in the Original 20-man squad, a hamstring injury to Gardner has seen the Club finish with four men in the side.

Best and Purcell were part of the Under-16s side which lifted the Origin shield last series.

Best is a versatile back who scored the last-minute, length-of-the-field match-winner in the 2017 Origin clash.

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The teen also claimed the Knights' Harold Matthews Players' Player award and the Danny Buderus encouragement award.

"He's a great kid first and foremost," Dureau said.

"As a player he's big, powerful and strong. He can beat his man one on one any time he gets the footy and he's playing a year young.

"To have the season he had, he gets his reward playing for NSW after the season he had."

Both Best and Purcell are graduates of the successful Harold Matthews Cup side where Purcell scored the match winner in the grand final.

"To have five in the final 20-man squad and four playing, it's a massive achievement for the Club and those guys," Dureau said.

The Under-18s State of Origin clash will kick off at 5.15pm.