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Rookie Report: Star fullback and hat-trick hero

We always have an eye on the future.

Each week the nib Newcastle Knights will identify the best performers from the Canterbury Cup and Jersey Flegg competitions so the supporters can get a feel for who is consistently performing in the lower grades.

These are the players to keep an eye out for as they climb the ranks or knock on the door for a future NRL debut.


In just his second game back from injury, Toa was once again impressive in the Jersey Flegg side’s 36-32 victory over South Sydney.

Having been touted as an NRL prospect early in the season, 20s coach Scott Dureau believes Toa did his chances of a call up no harm.

“He was everywhere on the field, full of energy and was very strong in attack and defence,” Dureau said.

“Star’s definitely a talented player and he’s going to be one for the future.

“The way he played on the weekend you can see that he’s a top-quality player with a bright future.”


The strong back rower was key to his side’s victory, with his three-try effort proving to be the difference against the Rabbitohs.

The youngster has enjoyed an injury-free season thus far, and his durability was rewarded with a man-of-the-match performance.

“He’s been one of our main players in the 20s this year,” Dureau said.

“He had an outstanding game really, player of the match in my opinion.

“He did his job defensively as well, so it wasn’t just the three tries he scored.”


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Having started the year in SG Ball, Purcell was forced into a six-month injury lay off thanks to a shoulder reconstruction.

In his return match, the 18-year-old proved his worth with a strong outing against the Rabbitohs.

 “He did a fantastic job off the bench for us,” Dureau said.

“For his first game as an 18-year-old against 20-year-olds, he was enormous for us.

“He took his opportunity with both hands, that’s for sure.”