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.

Beach shacks unsalvageable: owner

Beach shack at 1674 David Low Way Coolum Beach,

Owner of beach shacks reveals that he tried to save them

Coast surfing star bewildered by scoring as title hopes fade

NOT HAPPY: Julian Wilson bowed out of the Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles, essentially ending his world title quest.

Coast surfing star bewildered by scoring as world title hopes fade.

Local Partners

'UNREAL': Paddler videos moment whale swims under his board

ZIGGY Alberts will never forget his morning paddle to Old Woman Island nor photographer Jodie Price will ever have better timing.

Residents' protests fail to stop community centre shift

Coolum Community Centre/ old Coolum Cinema/ Coolum School of Arts.

Council officers recommended the centre be moved

Beach shacks unsalvageable: owner

Beach shack at 1674 David Low Way Coolum Beach,

Owner of beach shacks reveals that he tried to save them

Coast surfing star bewildered by scoring as title hopes fade

NOT HAPPY: Julian Wilson bowed out of the Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles, essentially ending his world title quest.

Coast surfing star bewildered by scoring as world title hopes fade.

Festivals are done and the clean-up has begun

NOT FAZED: Maroochy Music and Visual Arts Festival director James Birrell and his clean-up helpers from Party Bins said they had already \"broken the back\" of the clean-up on Sunday afternoon.

Festival organisers are winding down after a huge weekend of fun

Peregian's market gain to open soon

Peregian Village Market is set to be opened by Mayor Tony Wellington on Wednesday.

Peregian's new market force

World's toughest smoking laws could get tougher

New smoking laws came into effect in Queensland from Thursday.

New smoking laws 'world's toughest' but harsher laws could follow

Classic car auction draws buyers from US, Dubai

"He wants everyone to enjoy the cars, the collection got too big'

Kim Kardashian West 'sick of talking about Taylor Swift'

Kim Kardashian West is sick of talking about Taylor Swift.

Justin Bieber ordered to attend Miami deposition

Justin Bieber has been ordered to travel to Miami for a deposition

Sludge metal heaven served up across Australia

Black Rheno bring their stripped back sludge metal through regional Australia.

Black Rheno to hit a town near you

Prog metal upstarts to tour Australia

Caligula’s Horse, one of the country’s most exciting and innovative progressive bands, will hit the road for a national tour in November.

Australian prog masters announce national tour

Debra Messing wants to do a 'naughty' Will and Grace reunion

'Will & Grace' star Debra Messing wants a "naughty" reunion

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'working on custody agreement'

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are thrashing out a custody agreement

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

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'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

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.