Exciting young centre Brian Kelly is making the right moves towards a bright representative career according to Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans.
Kelly will join Cherry-Evans and Manly vice-captain Jake Trbojevic in wearing the green and gold colours of the Prime Minister's XIII team against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on Saturday, October 6.
It is the first PM's XIII jersey for 22-year-old Kelly and Cherry-Evans, and the fourth for Trbojevic.
Cherry-Evans, who will captain the PM's XIII team, said Kelly thoroughly deserved his selection.
Kelly's only previous senior rep honour was a Country Origin jersey last year in his debut season in the NRL with Manly.
"Brian has been the quiet achiever over the last two seasons,'' Cherry-Evans said.
He has really asserted himself as a regular first grader at ManlyDaly Cherry-Evans on Brian Kelly
"His selection is a great reward for a young man who has continually improved in the NRL. He has all the ability and skills to be a long-time first grader at Manly."
Kelly played in all of Manly's 24 games this season, crossing for seven tries, one of which was an absolutely brilliant solo try against the Canberra Raiders that saw several defenders left in his wake.
Cherry-Evans said Kelly – who has scored 15 tries in 47 matches - is a deceptive player who can certainly cause headaches for the opposition.
"I really like the way Brian carries the ball. He is deceptively strong for someone of his stature,'' Cherry-Evans said.
"Every time I give him the ball, I'm only assuming that his opponents are also underestimating him just by looking at him.
"He is more than capable of beating the person in front of him with speed, footwork, or power.
"It has been great to watch Brian grow in first grade. I'm looking forward to seeing what's ahead for him because there is so much more to learn and to experience in first grade.
"He has got some really, really good highlights in such a short time at the highest level. I guess now it is just about trying to make those big moments occur regularly as that is what elevates you to further rep honours.
"Brian has obviously done enough to earn his spot in the Prime Minister's side and I'm expecting a big game from him.
"If Brian continues to improve and play at a higher level consistently, then hopefully he is Origin bound and due for an Australian call up one day."