The top 25 future QLD Origin stars: Part one
There's always plenty of hype around players in the NRL who are about to make their mark on State of Origin.
But which young guns are showing their potential at the lower levels? Who are the teenagers impressing recruiters and scouts with their athleticism and dedication to making a career in the NRL?
While the pool of emerging talent in Queensland is deep, we've cut it back to 25 young guns that we're excited about.
Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (North Queensland Cowboys)
TABUAI-Fidow is one of those young players that already has YouTube highlights. The 17-year-old is a flashy, lightning fast fullback or winger contracted to the Cowboys. A Cairns Kangaroos junior, Tabuai-Fidow was a standout in GPS rugby with Brisbane Grammar School, which led the Cowboys to sign him. He played Mal Meninga Cup last year and has also represented Australia at the All Schools Championships in athletics.
Reece Walsh (Brisbane Broncos)
THE Keebra Park fullback has already been identified as a young leader, after he captained the Queensland under-16s side this July. Contracted to the Broncos, he is now in the under-18s emerging squad and can also play in the halves. He is a Gold Coast product, having played his junior football with the Nerang Roosters, and has also represented the Queensland under-16s Murri team. Walsh is known for his on-field communication and confidence, but also his strong work ethic.
Jack Howarth (Melbourne Storm)
HOWARTH has already attracted a lot of attention for his efforts as a centre with Brisbane Boys' College in GPS rugby but it seems his future lies in rugby league. Originally from Rockhampton, Howarth is affiliated with Melbourne and was last month named in the Queensland Emerging Origin under-18s squad. He is shaping up to be a tall, athletic forward in rugby league.
Brendan Piakura (Brisbane Broncos)
ANOTHER Gold Coast product, Piakura can play second row or at lock. He has come through the ranks with Helensvale Hornets Junior Rugby League club and Coombabah State High School. He represented the Queensland under-16s team at lock this year and is also part of the under-18s emerging squad named last month. Queensland development coaches are keeping a close eye on him as he continues to bloom.
Sam Walker (Brisbane Broncos)
THE Walker last name is a famous one at the Brisbane Broncos and it seems the next generation is also on the radar. Sixteen-year-old Sam is the son of former NRL player Ben Walker and the Ipswich talent is tipped to be a rising star of rugby league. The young playmaker, who attends Ipswich Grammar, is in Brisbane's development system and is on the brink of making state representative teams in 2019.
Tomorrow: Part two