Sport

Team of the future brimming with talent

Latrell Mitchell of the Roosters.
Latrell Mitchell of the Roosters. PAUL MILLER

WITH the 2016 season officially over for 12 of the 16 NRL clubs it's a good time to select ARM's team of future representative stars.

This is our team of 13 players who have not yet played Origin or Test rugby league but who we believe will reach those representative heights.

They may not have been the best players in their positions this season but in our opinion they are players headed for stardom.

FULLBACK: A number of young players put their hand up here including Cameron Munster, who replaced injured No.1 Billy Slater at the Storm, but, in the end, we settled on exciting youngster Latrell Mitchell, who was simply outstanding for the Roosters this season. This kid has shades of GI about him and is going to be something special.

WING: Impossible to go past Suliasi Vunivalu, the Suva sensation from the Storm who has set a club record for a player in his debut year with 22 tries. The 20-year-old launched his career with a try-scoring double and just kept crossing the line for the rest of the season.

CENTRE: This guy does not fit in the "youth” category but how Canberra's Jarrod Croker has not made a New South Wales Origin side is hard to fathom. There are few more reliable performers in the NRL than the head-geared Croker, who is close to finishing 2016 with 300 points and a possible premiership.

CENTRE: Croker's Raiders teammate Joseph Leilua would have made the team but he has played eight Tests for Samoa, so this spot goes to Parramatta flyer Bevan French, who set the season alight with his blistering pace and ability to score from anywhere on the field.

Tom Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles.
Tom Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles. PAUL MILLER

WING: Many believe this kid is a superstar in the making so we had to find a place for Manly's Tom Trbojevic, who has the rugby league world at his feet. Tall, fast and very evasive, Trbojevic has scored 18 tries in 32 games for Manly and has already been likened to a young Darren Lockyer.

FIVE-EIGHTH: Few players have gone ahead in leaps and bounds as much as Tigers No.6 Mitchell Moses, who has taken his game to another level in 2016 as a ball runner. The Tigers believe they can build a premiership around him.

HALFBACK: The kid Nathan Cleary, and he is still a kid at just 18, gets the No.7 jumper hands down. The son of former NRL star Ivan Cleary has displayed amazing maturity to lead a young Penrith side around the paddock with the help of old head Peter Wallace. He has so many skills and so much talent yet to unveil as well.

FRONT ROW: We are going to push North Queensland's Coen Hess into the front row, although he could play second row or lock because he is so amazingly athletic for a big man. No doubt he is going to play at the highest level in a few years. Has got it all.

HOOKER: I'd be happy to have either Brisbane's Andrew McCullough or Cowboys No.9 Jake Granville. Both excellent dummy halves who play very different styles but have a lot to offer. McCullough gets the nod.

FRONT ROW: Dylan Napa, the big Rooster, has established himself as one of the game's hardest hitters and will make his Origin debut next season if he continues to play his power game. Can get even better with his size and ability to off-load.

SECOND ROW: It's a big rap for James Fisher-Harris that he has already been compared to the Raging Bull Gorden Tallis. The Panther has a fair way to go to live up to those lofty heights but you have to love the way he rips in for a 20-year-old.

Titans player Ryan James.
Titans player Ryan James. DAVE HUNT

SECOND ROW: Ryan James has been pushing for Origin selection for a few years now and at 25 the Titan is probably approaching the prime of his career. Could crack the big time in 2017.

LOCK: Earmarked by Brisbane as the player to replace retired great Corey Parker, Jai Arrow is an impressive and imposing young forward who has already played a dozen or so game for the Broncos and had plenty of admirers prepared to back him to go all the way.

ARM's team of the future: Latrell Mitchell (Roosters), Suliasi Vunivalu (Melbourne), Jarrod Croker (Canberra), Bevan French (Parramatta), Tom Trbojevic (Manly), Mitchell Moses (Wests Tigers), Nathan Cleary (Penrith), Coen Hess (Cowboys), Andrew McCullough (Brisbane), Dylan Napa (Roosters), James Fisher-Harris (Penrith), Ryan James (Gold Coast), Jai Arrow (Brisbane)

Topics:  sportfeature


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Ballina's 'leaning tower' set for demolition

GOODBYE TO OLD, HELLO TO NEW: Ballina Marine Rescue's Commander John Donoghue with the old and new towers in the background.

And the Marine Rescue volunteers can't wait to see it go

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Local Partners

Minister to visit Ballina to announce new shark strategy

PRIMARY Industries Minister Niall Blair to travel to Ballina today in the wake of Monday's shark attack, as the cost of the failed shark barriers is questioned.

How can we prevent shark attacks on the North Coast?

Multiple people attended the scene at Lighthouse Beach where a shark attack took place around 9:30 on Monday morning. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

How can further shark attacks on the North Coast be prevented?

Ballina's 'leaning tower' set for demolition

GOODBYE TO OLD, HELLO TO NEW: Ballina Marine Rescue's Commander John Donoghue with the old and new towers in the background.

And the Marine Rescue volunteers can't wait to see it go

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Has the shark attack scared off swimmers?

NO ONE WAS SWIMMING: Despite Ballina's Lighthouse Beach reopening on Tuesday sep 27 after Monday's shark attack, and the placement of two smart drum lines at the beach along with the start of aerial surveillance using the Little Ripper drone technology, no one was swimming at the beach mid-morning on Tuesday.Photo Graham Broadhead / Ballina Shire Advocate

It's a warm, sunny day, but Lighthouse Beach is practically empty

Fund Ballina's ocean pool in the shark strategy: Councillor

OCEAN POOL: Cr Jeff Johnson has received positive responses to his plans for an ocean pool at Shelly Beach.

Failed shark barrier could pave way for ocean pool

BEACH SAFETY: Can you reduce your risk of a shark attack?

Yesterday's attack reminded us that sharks are still out there, despite a quiet year so far. There are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of an unwanted encounter.

Some tips and helpful apps to help you be safe

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.

3500 jobs on the way with new $950 million resort

Residential, tourist, community, and open space on Hummock Hill Island.

PROPERTY developers plan to begin construction next year.