Junior Pathways paying massive dividends

Blues brothers (l-r) Joshua Schuster, Albert Hopoate, Ben Trbojevic, Filimaua Filimaua-Tau, and Kaeo Weekes will do NSW proud at Suncorp Stadium. Photo: Wayne Cousins

They are Manly’s ‘Fab Five’ and they are ready to unleash on Queensland at Suncorp Stadium this Wednesday night.

Albert Hopoate (full-back), Kaeo Weekes (five-eighth), Filimaua Filimaua-Tau (prop), Ben Trbojevic (second-row), and Josh Schuster (second-row) will proudly represent NSW against the Maroons in the U16 representative match as the lead up game to State of Origin 3.

Brad Fittler is the NSW U16 Coach.

All five were rewarded for their outstanding form for Manly’s Harold Matthews Cup team this season.

Manly finished runners-up to undefeated Premiers Newcastle under Coach Brett Fulton after making their first ever grand final in the U16s competition.

“It is a great feeling to have five of us in the NSW team, and in starting positions,’’ said Schuster, the Manly captain.

“I am really proud of what we achieved this season despite being beaten in the grand final. We all worked so hard as a team and we played some great football.

“The future is looking bright for Manly.”

For Ben Trbojevic, it will be a special night for his family with older brother, Jake, playing his third Origin match for the Blues. Brother, Tom, is again a reserve for the Blues.

Ben got a taste of what to expect at a packed Suncorp Stadium after sitting with Tom and his family  in the crowd for Jake’s debut in game one.

“It is very exciting to be able to play before Jake. Mum and Dad are realty proud of us. It will be a big night if NSW can win both,’’ Ben said.

Weekes’ selection is an incredible reward for the talented five-eighth who is still playing in the U15s level and played up an age division to represent Manly.

Manly will have five players from this year’s Harold Matts team who will be in the 2018 squad, with Weekes being the only player from the U16 Blues side.

The NSW v Queensland Under-16s clash will be live streamed on www.NSWRL.com.au.