While the National Youth Competition was buried four years ago, it proved to be an effective breeding ground for some of the NRL’s biggest names today.
Each year a Team of the Year would be named from the NYC season, featuring names we’ve grown to love today as well as those we never saw quite take the step up to the top grade.
Sporting News took a look back to the NYC teams of the year to rank them for players who have gone on to craft out successful NRL careers.
#1 2015 NYC TEAM OF THE YEAR
Tom Trbojevic (Manly) Gideon Gela-Mosby (Cowboys) Jordan Drew (Broncos) Addison Demetriou (Sea Eagles) Joseph Manu (Roosters) Te Maire Martin (Wests Tigers) Ashley Taylor (Broncos) Viliame Kikau (Cowboys) Jayden Berrell (Broncos) Joe Ofahengaue (Broncos) Coen Hess (Cowboys) Tevita Pangai (Raiders) Jai Arrow (Broncos) INTERCHANGE: Latrell Mitchell (Roosters) Brent Naden (Panthers) Jayden Nikorima (Broncos) Danny Levi (Knights)
There are a few names in here that didn’t eventuate into supreme NRL talent, sure. But the big names that did are some of the competition’s best talent today.
The spearheads of NSW’s Origin dominance this year, Tom Trbojevic and Latrell Mitchell are two of the game’s best players. While Viliame Kikau, Jai Arrow and Tevita Pangai are three of the most dominant forwards on their day, plus Joey Manu is among the most talented backs running around today.
#2 2017 NYC TEAM OF THE YEAR
Kalyn Ponga (Cowboys) Sione Katoa (Sharks) Phillip Sami (Titans) Jesse Ramien (Sharks) Greg Leleisiuao (Eels) Alexander Brimson (Titans) Kyle Flanagan (Sharks) Patrick Carrigan (Broncos) Wayde Egan (Panthers) Payne Haas (Broncos) Briton Nikora (Sharks) Jack Murchie (Raiders) Billy Magoulias (Sharks) INTERCHANGE: Victor Radley (Roosters) Blayke Brailey (Sharks) Reed Izzard (Panthers) Jake Clifford (Cowboys)
All but one of the players in this NYC team has kicked on to become a regular first grader, with some becoming some of the league’s best.
Kalyn Ponga is the face of the game and an Origin superstar, Payne Haas and AJ Brimson too. Victor Radley is one of the most feared players in the NRL, while Patrick Carrigan, Wayde Egan, Jesse Ramien, Blayke Brailey and Jake Clifford are all elite talents in their own right.
#3 2011 NYC TEAM OF THE YEAR
Omar Slaimankhel (Warriors) Dane Gagai (Broncos) Konrad Hurrell (Warriors) Mahe Fonua (Storm) James Roberts (Rabbitohs) Carlos Tuimavave (Warriors) Jacob Miller (Tigers) Kane Evans (Roosters) Kurt Baptiste (Broncos) Dale Finucane (Bulldogs) Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys) Alex McKinnon (Dragons) Tyrone Peachey (Sharks) INTERCHANGE: Kenneath Bromwich (Storm) Timoteo Lafai (Bulldogs) Jack de Belin (Dragons) Kyle Feldt (Cowboys)
A side that contains Origin players like Dane Gagai, Dale Finucane, Jack de Belin and Kyle Feldt. Plus, arguably the NRL’s most damaging forward in Jason Taumalolo. Kenneath Bromwich is a three-time premiership Storm player. Throw in names like Tyrone Peachey and James Roberts and it’s safe to say this was one of the better years NYC had in terms of producing talent.
#4 2016 NYC TEAM OF THE YEAR
Kalyn Ponga (Cowboys) Gideon Gela-Mosby (Cowboys) Robert Jennings (Panthers) Nick Cotric (Raiders) Joseph Manu (Roosters) Tyrone May (Panthers) Troy Dargan (Eels) Alex Twal (Eels) Brandon Smith (Cowboys) Oliver Clark (Panthers) Luciano Leilua (Dragons) Jaydn Su’A (Broncos) Nat Butcher (Roosters) INTERCHANGE: Jayden Brailey (Sharks) Matt Dufty (Dragons) Tyrell Fuimaono (Eels) Dylan Edwards (Panthers)
A team littered with current NRL stars, the standouts being Brandon Smith, Jayden Brailey, Nick Cotric and Matt Dufty. This year also included the likes of Luciano Leilua, Alex Twal and Jaydn Su’A. Ponga’s name also appears again in what was the first time he earned selection in the NYC team of the year in this season.
#5 2012 NYC TEAM OF THE YEAR
Evander Cummins (Dragons) Marika Koroibete (Tigers) Edrick Lee (Raiders) Nathan Green (Dragons) Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Roosters) Carlos Tuimavave (Warriors) Mitch Cornish (Raiders) David Klemmer (Bulldogs) Michael Lichaa (Sharks) Korbin Sims (Knights) Michael Chee-Kam (Raiders) Vaipuna Tia Kilifi (Panthers) Paul Carter (Bulldogs) INTERCHANGE: Caleb Timu (Broncos) Chris Grevsmuhl (Cowboys) Luke Keary (Rabbitohs) Dylan Napa (Roosters)
2012 produced one of the NRL’s current best players in Luke Keary, who has gone on to become a dual-premiership-winning playmaker with the Roosters. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is also up there amongst the game’s finest. It was a year that also includes names like David Klemmer, Dylan Napa and now Wallaby Marika Koroibete.
#7 2008 NYC TEAM OF THE YEAR
Lachlan Coote (Panthers) Jharal Yow Yeh (Broncos) Justin Carney (Raiders) Tony Williams (Eels) Kevin Gordon (Titans) Ben Barba (Bulldogs) Chris Sandow (Rabbitohs) Russell Packer (Warriors) Masada Iosefa (Panthers) Sione Kite (Bulldogs) Joel Thompson (Raiders) Daniel Harrison (Bulldogs) Shaun Fensom (Raiders) INTERCHANGE: Ben Hunt (Broncos) Matt Mundine (Dragons) Jordan Rapana (Titans) Ben Matulino (Warriors)
NYC’s maiden year produced a handful of players that went on to become big names, the standout being Dragons captain Ben Hunt. Ben Barba had a rollercoaster career but when he was at his peak in 2012 he was virtually unstoppable. While players like Jharal Yow Yeh, Lachlan Coote, Jordan Rapana and Joel Thompson went on to become very solid first-graders.
#8 2010 NYC TEAM OF THE YEAR
Dane Gagai (Broncos) Kalifa Faifai Loa (Dragons) Dylan Farrell (Rabbitohs) Siuatonga Likiliki (Warriors) Josh Mansour (Rabbitohs) Aidan Sezer (Bulldogs) Sam Williams (Raiders) Tariq Sims (Broncos) James Segeyaro (Cowboys) Andrew Clayton (Broncos) Ryan James (Titans) Sam Mataora (Raiders) Ethan Cook (Knights) INTERCHANGE: Brad Murray (Roosters) Dale Finucane (Bulldogs) Matt Hyland (Tigers) Lama Tasi (Sea Eagles)
2010 included Josh Mansour, Tariq Sims, Ryan James, Finucane and Gagai, all players who have gone on to become representatives. It was also a year the likes of Aidan Sezer, James Segeyaro and Sam Williams emerged.
#9 2013 NYC TEAM OF THE YEAR
Jack Ahearn (Raiders) Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Panthers) Hymel Hunt (Titans) Charly Runciman (Dragons) Jonathon Reuben (Raiders) Samisoni Langi (Roosters) Luke Brooks (Tigers) Matthew Lodge (Storm) Michael Lichaa (Sharks) Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles) Bryce Cartwright (Panthers) Corey Oates (Broncos) John Asiata (Roosters) INTERCHANGE: Mitch Cornish (Raiders) Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Panthers) David Bhana (Warriors) Cameron McInnes (Rabbitohs)
There a good dose of big-name NRL talent in this side. Jake Trbojevic, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Corey Oates and Cam McInnes have been around Origin circles, while the likes of Luke Brooks, Bryce Cartwright and Matt Lodge also featured.
#10 2014 NYC TEAM OF THE YEAR
Jake Mamo (Knights) Valentine Holmes (Sharks) Sione Mata’utia (Knights) Brendan Elliot (Roosters) Nene MacDonald (Roosters) Te Maire Martin (Tigers) Drew Hutchison (Dragons) Andy Saunders (Panthers) Manaia Cherrington (Tigers) Sam Lisone (Warriors) Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Storm) Tepai Moeroa (Eels) Willis Meehan (Roosters) INTERCHANGE: Danny Levi (Knights) Joseph Tapine (Knights) Addin Fonua-Blake (Dragons) Kane Elgey (Titans)
2014 featured a handful of players who kicked on to become big names in the NRL, including Val Holmes, Addin Fonua-Blake and Nelson Asofa-Solomona among others.
#6 2009 NYC TEAM OF THE YEAR
Malcolm Webster (Rabbitohs) Joe Vickery (Dragons) Taioalo Vaivai (Rabbitohs) Siuatonga Likiliki (Warriors) Drury Low (Raiders) Robert Lui (Tigers) Beau Henry (Dragons) Trent Merrin (Dragons) Travis Waddell (Raiders) Jesse Bromwich (Storm) Jake Marketo (Dragons) Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sea Eagles) Jamie Buhrer (Sea Eagles) INTERCHANGE: Kieran Foran (Sea Eagles) Joel Romelo (Panthers) Gareth Widdop (Storm) Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
This year produced a stunning six premiership-winning players in Daly Cherry-Evans, Kieran Foran, Jamie Buhrer Trent Merrin, Jesse Bromwich, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Gareth Widdop but also several players that never quite landed on their feet in the NRL.
WHICH TEAM HAD THE MOST REPRESENTATIVES IN NYC HISTORY?
|Raiders||17||2008, 2012, 2013 (3)|
|Cowboys||12||2015, 2016 (3)|
|Rabbitohs||8||2009, 2010 (2)|
|Titans||7||2008, 2017 (2)|
|Sea Eagles||7||2009 (4)|
|Storm||6||2009, 2011 (2)|