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Young and hungry: fresh faces with the talent to burn

Date

Last year it was Adam Reynolds, Konrad Hurrell and Josh Jackson who headlined a long list of rookies to take the NRL by storm. Michael Chammas takes a look at the top 10 most promising young players on the verge of forging their own identity in 2013.

Top dog ...  19 year old  David Klemmer leads a pack of  promising players for 2013.

Top dog ... 19 year old David Klemmer leads a pack of promising players for 2013. Photo: Getty Images

1. David Klemmer (Bulldogs)

Age: 19 Position: Front row

NRL games: 0

Timu by name but not timid by nature ... Caleb Timu of the Broncos is regarded as one of the most destructive forwards ...

Timu by name but not timid by nature ... Caleb Timu of the Broncos is regarded as one of the most destructive forwards in Queensland. Photo: Getty Images

Off contract: 2013

Strengths: He won the under-20s player of the year award last year and was averaging close to 200 metres per game. He's got a huge engine and the ability to play long minutes. The Bulldogs see him as an integral part of their future and have already begun negotiations to keep him.

Where he fits: With James Graham to miss the start of the season through suspension, Klemmer could be given the opportunity to make his debut off the bench. The Bulldogs have bolstered their forward pack with Tony Williams, but the departure of David Stagg, as well as the retirement of Corey Payne, has opened the doors for a few players, including Klemmer.

 

2. Michael Lichaa (Sharks)

Age: 19 Position: Hooker

NRL games: 0

Off contract: 2015

Strengths: He's been dubbed as a Robbie Farah clone. The 16 NRL clubs have a huge opinion of this talented dummy-half, rated as one of the most creative and skilful hookers coming through the ranks. He's developing a handy left-foot kicking game and is a tough defender.

Where he fits: It's unlikely he'll get an opportunity at the start of the season with Isaac De Gois and John Morris in the NRL squad, but Lichaa's doing everything possible to guarantee he'll be ready when he gets the opportunity. He's still young but coach Shane Flanagan believes he'll crack first grade at some stage this year.

 

3. Kane Evans (Roosters)

Age: 21 Position: Front row

NRL games: 0

Off contract: 2014

Strengths: A giant who is expected to make his NRL debut this year. He's a damaging runner of the ball whose style of play has been likened to Gorden Tallis. He was one of the best players in last year's under-20s State of Origin match in Penrith. He has a Fijian background.

Where he fits: The departure of Mose Masoe to Penrith will provide Evans with his shot in the Roosters front row. Martin Kennedy and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will likely start, but Evans will provide plenty of impact off the bench.

 

4. Tom Eisenhuth (Panthers)

Age: 20 Position: Back row

NRL games: 1

Off contract: 2013

Strengths: A NSW under-18s player who also played for the Junior Kangaroos last year. Made his NRL debut against the Warriors in round 24 last year. A versatile forward who can also play in the centres. He's got good footwork and the ability to offload.

Where he fits: Given the fact the Panthers have a new squad this season, it's unclear where Eisenhuth fits into Ivan Cleary's plans. However, he is one of the club's most promising juniors and will no doubt add to his one NRL game from last season.

 

5. Jack Stockwell (Dragons)

Age: 20 Position: Front row

NRL games: 3

Off contract: 2014

Strengths: He's a towering prop who has been given time to develop through the under-20s and NSW Cup. He's been part of the Dragons NRL squad for several seasons and is on the verge of earning a regular bench position. Coach Steve Price used him off the bench on three occasions in his maiden season in the NRL.

Where he fits: With Michael Weyman back from injury, as well as Trent Merrin and Dan Hunt at Price's disposal, Stockwell will need to earn a bench position.

 

6. Daniel Tupou (Roosters)

Age: 21 Position: Wing

NRL games: 3

Off contract: 2014

Strengths: The Parramatta junior played the final three games of the season in Brian Smith's NRL side. He scored a hat-trick in his second game. The Roosters have been impressed with his pre-season and expect big things from the giant winger.

Where he fits: Tupou will start the year on the wing. From all reports, he's developed into a mature footballer. There are numerous talented outside backs at the Roosters disposal, but his height and power make him the most dangerous.

 

7. Korbin Sims (Knights)

Age: 21 Position: Front row

NRL games: 0

Off contract: 2013

Overview: Another talent off the Sims family production line. He followed his brothers to the Broncos as a junior before finding a home at the Knights. He isn't in the Tariq mould, quite similar to the eldest of the brothers, North Queensland's Ashton. Korbin is a big-popper who will spend most of his career eating up metres in the middle. He was one of the under-20s props of the year in 2012.

Where he fits: Korbin won't start the year in the NRL but injuries could pave the way for his selection. Wayne Bennett doesn't like to rush his front-rowers, but he knows when they are ready. He threw Shane Webcke and Petero Civoniceva in at a young age at the Broncos and did the same with Trent Merrin at the Dragons.

 

8. Evander Cummins (Dragons)

Age: 20 Position: Fullback

NRL games: 0

Off contract: 2013

Overview: An Alexandria Rovers junior who played for the Sydney Roosters before joining the Dragons. He's one of the most exciting ball-runners in the game, but is small in stature. There is no doubting his skill, but there doubts over whether he can handle the physicality of the NRL. He has similar question marks over his head that Ben Barba did as a junior.

Where he fits: Gerard Beale will start the year at fullback for the Dragons but Cummins may get a crack around the representative period of the season. Beale, Jason Nightingale and Brett Morris are all expected to be away on representative duties for the Test match, which could provide Cummins with his first shot in the NRL. He's a specialist fullback who will have to wait for an opportunity at the back.

 

9. Anthony Milford (Raiders)

Age: 18 Position: Five-eighth/halfback

NRL games: 0

Off contract: 2014

Overview: If his reputation is anything to go by, Canberra will want to keep this youngster at the club for a long time. The Queensland junior has drawn comparisons to Johnathan Thurston from several of rugby league's most respected recruitment managers. Milford is a naturally gifted footballer with all the skills. He led the Raiders' SG Ball and under-20s teams to the grand final last year.

Where he fits: He's still in the Raiders' national youth competition squad and is unlikely to make his NRL debut with Terry Campese, Sam Williams and Josh McCrone ahead of him. But if he gets his opportunity in the top grade this year, it could be hard for coach David Furner to leave him out of the side.

 

10. Caleb Timu (Broncos)

Age: 18 Position: Second row/front row

NRL games: 0

Off contract: 2013

Overview: This is the Maroons' next superstar. He's one of the most destructive forwards in Queensland and earned selection in last year's under-20s team of the year. He terrorised NSW in the under-20s Origin match, scoring a double to secure victory for the Maroons. He is 190cm tall and weighs 108 kilograms. He comes from a rugby union background.

Where he fits: The retirement of Petero Civoniceva and the departure of Ben Te'o has opened a couple of positions in the Broncos forward pack. There are no shortage of wide-running back-rowers, so Timu might need to make his mark at prop before sliding out wide. Timu is a certainty to feature for the Broncos during the Origin period.

HuffPost Australia

NRL Season 2016

Round 1
Thu, 03 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR vs BRI 20:05Pirtek
Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CBY 20:05BO
Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs PEN 15:00GIO
WST vs NZW 17:30CSS
NQL vs CRO 19:301300
Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs SOU 16:00AS
GCT vs NEW 18:30Cbus
Mon, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs STG 19:00AAMI
Fri, 09 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 10 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
vs 00:00TBA
Sun, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Thu, 10 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN vs CBY 20:05Pepp
Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs NZW 20:05SUN
Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs SYD 15:00GIO
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:30Pirtek
Sun, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRO vs STG 16:00Shark Park
MEL vs GCT 18:30AAMI
Mon, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST vs MAN 19:00VAS
Fri, 16 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 17 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Thu, 17 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL vs SYD 20:051300
Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY vs PAR 20:05ANZ
Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CBR 17:30HS
PEN vs BRI 19:30Pepp
GCT vs WST 21:30Cbus
Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
STG vs SOU 16:00SCG
Mon, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CRO 19:00BO
Fri, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU vs CBY 16:00ANZ
BRI vs NQL 20:05SUN
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs GCT 17:30GIO
SYD vs MAN 19:30AS
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG vs PEN 16:00WIN
Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
WST vs PAR 16:00ANZ
CRO vs MEL 19:00Shark Park
Sun, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Thu, 31 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs SOU 20:05BO
Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
GCT vs BRI 20:05Cbus
Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs NEW 15:00AAMI
WST vs CRO 17:30CSS
NQL vs STG 19:301300
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
PAR vs PEN 16:00Pirtek
Mon, 04 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs CBR 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Thu, 07 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 19:50SUN
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs SYD 19:50ANZ
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBR 15:00Pirtek
NZW vs MAN 17:30MSS
PEN vs NQL 19:30Pepp
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs GCT 14:00Shark Park
NEW vs WST 16:00HS
Mon, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
MEL vs CBY 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Thu, 14 AprTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PAR 19:50BO
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
NQL vs SOU 19:501300
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT vs STG 15:00Cbus
CBY vs NZW 17:30Westpac Stadium
BRI vs NEW 19:30SUN
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CRO 14:00GIO
WST vs MEL 16:00VAS
Mon, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PEN 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SOU 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs GCT 15:00ANZ
CBR vs WST 17:30GIO
NQL vs PAR 19:301300
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs PEN 16:00Shark Park
Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs MAN 14:00HS
STG vs SYD 16:00AS
MEL vs NZW 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Thu, 28 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs WST 19:50ANZ
PAR vs CBY 19:50ANZ
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CBR 15:00Carrington Park
SYD vs NEW 17:30CCS
MAN vs NQL 19:30BO
Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 12:00MSS
GCT vs MEL 14:00Cbus
CRO vs BRI 16:00Shark Park
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Thu, 12 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBR 19:50Jubilee Oval
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SOU 19:50Pirtek
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs NZW 15:00AMI Stadium
MEL vs NQL 17:30SUN
MAN vs BRI 19:30SUN
Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
WST vs CBY 16:00ANZ
Mon, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT vs SYD 19:00Cbus
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Thu, 19 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs STG 19:50ANZ
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
NQL vs BRI 19:501300
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
WST vs NEW 15:00CSS
NZW vs CBR 17:30Yarrow Stadium
CRO vs MAN 19:30Shark Park
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs GCT 14:00Pepp
CBY vs SYD 16:00ANZ
Mon, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs MEL 19:00Pirtek
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WST 19:50SUN
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO
Mon, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs PAR 19:00HS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs MAN 19:50GIO
Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs BRI 15:00MSS
NQL vs NEW 17:301300
MEL vs PEN 19:30AAMI
Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WST 16:00AS
SOU vs GCT 18:30nib Stadium
Mon, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs CRO 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 09 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBR 19:50SUN
Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:50ANZ
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs NZW 15:00HS
PAR vs GCT 17:30TIO
SYD vs MEL 19:30AS
Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PEN 16:00BO
Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBY 16:00ANZ
CRO vs NQL 19:00Shark Park
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:50ANZ
Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs MEL 19:30WIN
Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SYD 16:00MSS
Mon, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:50Pepp
Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs STG 15:00HS
CRO vs NZW 17:30Shark Park
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs CBR 14:00Cbus
MEL vs WST 16:00AAMI
Mon, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NQL vs MAN 19:001300
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CBY 19:50AS
Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 19:50SUN
Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs GCT 15:00MSS
WST vs PEN 17:30ANZ
CRO vs PAR 19:30Shark Park
Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 14:00GIO
SOU vs NQL 16:00Barlow Park
Mon, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs STG 19:00BO
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SYD 19:50Pirtek
Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
CBY vs WST 19:30ANZ
Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CRO 16:00Pepp
Mon, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NQL 19:00GIO
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs GCT 19:50Jubilee Oval
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
SOU vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NEW vs MEL 14:00HS
PEN vs PAR 16:00Pepp
Mon, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CRO 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Thu, 21 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBY 19:501300
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NZW 15:00GIO
GCT vs PAR 17:30Cbus
MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CRO vs NEW 14:00Shark Park
STG vs WST 16:00ANZ
Mon, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
SOU vs MAN 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Wed, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PEN 22:00MSS
Thu, 28 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
CBY vs STG 00:00ANZ
GCT vs CRO 00:00Cbus
PAR vs WST 00:00ANZ
SOU vs CBR 00:00ANZ
MAN vs NEW 00:00BO
NQL vs MEL 00:001300
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Thu, 04 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs BRI 00:00WIN
PAR vs MAN 00:00Pirtek
CRO vs CBR 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
MEL vs SOU 00:00AAMI
GCT vs NZW 00:00Cbus
WST vs NQL 00:00VAS
PEN vs SYD 00:00Pepp
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Wed, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SOU 22:00MSS
Thu, 11 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MAN 00:00ANZ
BRI vs PAR 00:00SUN
WST vs GCT 00:00CSS
STG vs CRO 00:00Jubilee Oval
NEW vs PEN 00:00HS
SYD vs NQL 00:00AS
CBR vs MEL 00:00GIO
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Thu, 18 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
SYD vs STG 00:00AS
NEW vs GCT 00:00HS
NQL vs NZW 00:001300
MAN vs MEL 00:00BO
CBR vs PAR 00:00GIO
PEN vs WST 00:00Pepp
SOU vs CRO 00:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Wed, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs WST 22:00MSS
Thu, 25 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs NQL 00:00Belmore Sports Ground
MEL vs BRI 00:00AAMI
GCT vs PEN 00:00Cbus
MAN vs CBR 00:00BO
CRO vs SYD 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs SOU 00:00HS
PAR vs STG 00:00Pirtek
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Wed, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PAR 22:00MSS
Thu, 01 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 00:00SUN
CBY vs SOU 00:00ANZ
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
NQL vs GCT 00:001300
MEL vs CRO 00:00AAMI
WST vs CBR 00:00VAS
PEN vs MAN 00:00Pepp
View All Fixtures

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