Four Upcoming Rookies in the National Rugby League

Although there is still high uncertainty about how the Covid-19 pandemic will affect Australian Rugby League this year, a couple of rookies are aiming for the top. In the previous season, names such as Ryan Papenhuyzen, Payne Haas and Maika Sivo emerged as household names.

So, who do we have an eye on as the next most popular rookies in this season?

1. Xavier Coates of Brisbane Broncos

Coates was born on March 2001 and has had three NRL appearances since he joined the league. His big break came in last year’s season after scoring a fantastic try kick which eventually helped the Brisbane Broncos win against Cronulla. The teenager is talented in many ways and can play centre, full back and his current wing position.

2. Harley Smith-Shields of Canberra Raiders

Harley Smith-Shields is yet to debut in his NRL career, but this does not mean there are limits to what he is capable of achieving. In 2019, he was named the Jersey Flegg player of the year. The player has to compete for a backline spot in case Curtis Scott was unavailable after the Australian Day event.

3. Brandon Wakeham of Canterbury Bulldogs

Wakeham plays the halfback and five-eighth position and has made three appearances on NRL leagues so far. He has two significant representative honours, one with Fiji in 2019 and the other with NSW under 16s in 2015. With Kieran Foran nursing a shoulder injury, Brandon has a chance to secure a starting role this season.

4. Billy Magoulias of Cronulla Sharks

As Paul Gallen prepares for retirement, Billy Magoulias gets the opportunity of a permanent position with the Cronulla Sharks. Magoulias is a skilful player with several honours to his name. He currently holds lock position with Jack Williams, but with his skill set, he can play middle forward as well.