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20 exciting Steelers to watch

Evie McGrath  Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

20 exciting Steelers to watch

Author : Kevin Merrigan News Corp Sport

20 exciting Steelers to watch

Illawarra Steelers: 20 exciting junior rep stars to watch in 2024 SG Ball, Harold Matthews, Tarsha Gale and Lisa Fiaola Cups.

2024 is set to be an exciting season for the Illawarra Steelers with a host of emerging superstars among their SG Ball, Harold Matthews, Tarsha Gale and Lisa Fiaola squads. Check out our 20 players to watch.

Kevin Merrigan

Illawarra Steelers emerging stars to watch in 2024.

The Illawarra Steelers have a long and proud history of providing a strong pathways system for emerging south coast rugby league talents to go on and play high levels of the game.

2024 is already gearing up to be an exciting year for the club with the announcement of the Illawarra Steelers SG Ball, Harold Matthews, Tarsha Gale and Lisa Fiaola Cup sides for next season.

The roster is packed to the brim of promising rugby league talent, many of who have just come off highly successful seasons with their local clubs.

We’ve had a look at the squads for 2024 and picked out 20 names who we’re excited to see don the red and white of Illawarra come the start of the junior rep season.

Check out all the junior rep teams that have announced their squads so far.

Jarrah Treweek (SG Ball)

Jarrah Treweek of the Milton Ulladulla Bulldogs. Picture: Supplied

Jarrah Treweek of the Milton Ulladulla Bulldogs. Picture: Supplied

2023 was a breakout year for the superstar south coast second rower, with accolades such as Group 7 Rookie of the Year and Illawarra South Coast Dragons Player of the Year.

The young star crossed for three tries in the Laurie Daley Cup grand final in 2023, before returning to the Milton Ulladulla Bulldogs where he was promoted to first grade early in the season.

Jarrah Treweek during the Laurie Daley Cup grand final. Picture: Sue Graham

Jarrah Treweek during the Laurie Daley Cup grand final. Picture: Sue Graham

With terrific on-the-ball skills for a big man, imposing physicality and a massive boot gained from his AFL background, he’s the ultimate strike weapon set to tear up SG Ball this year.

Shayla Moreton-Stewart (Tarsha Gale)

Shayla Moreton-Stewart of the Milton Ulladulla Bulldogs. Picture: Supplied

Shayla Moreton-Stewart of the Milton Ulladulla Bulldogs. Picture: Supplied

A busy worker and a big try threat from prop forward.

Moreton-Stewart scored a whopping 16 tries in the Southern Corridor open women’s tackle competition this season, a team-high for the Milton Ulladulla Bulldogs.

She was also player of the match in the victorious Group 7 open women’s tackle grand final.

Eden Hodges (SG Ball)

Eden Hodges in action for the Illawarra South Coast Dragons. Picture: Thomas Lisson

Eden Hodges in action for the Illawarra South Coast Dragons. Picture: Thomas Lisson

The ship-steerer for Collegians in the IRL under-18s, Hodges topped the try tally for the league with 17 from halfback, as well as the overall points tally with 157.

Instrumental in Collegians’ under-18s premiership win, he was ultimately crowned the league’s player of the year.

The 2023 Country rep has a good brain for footy and a terrific motivator for getting his troops on the front foot.

Ashton O’Dea (SG Ball)

Ashton O'Dea diving over for a try. Picture: Thomas Lisson

Ashton O’Dea diving over for a try. Picture: Thomas Lisson

A name everyone is happy to see listed in the SG Ball squad.

Early in the 2023 season, O’Dea was forced into treatment for the second time with a rare neurological disorder, putting his promising footy career on hold.

Five months on, it’s exciting to see O’Dea’s name among the SG Ball squad, with everyone hoping the second rower can bounce back in a big way in 2024.

Ella Koster (Tarsha Gale)

Ella Koster of the Illawarra Steelers Tarsha Gale Cup side. Photo Steve Montgomery

Ella Koster of the Illawarra Steelers Tarsha Gale Cup side. Photo Steve Montgomery

One of the breakout Illawarra stars of 2023, Koster went from captaining the Tarsha Gale side last year to debuting in the NRLW for the Dragons a week after turning 18.

The versatile young gun can play centre, edge forward or through the middle, crossing for two tries in her maiden NRLW season.

No doubt she’s set to return to Tarsha Gale as a much greater threat in 2024.

Palu Tausala (SG Ball)

Palu Tausala of the Berkeley Eagles. Picture: Supplied

Palu Tausala of the Berkeley Eagles. Picture: Supplied

The wrecking-ball forward who was a standout for the victorious Laurie Daley Cup Dragons last season.

Returning to Berkeley Vale to play his club footy, he crossed for a team-high 12 tries, occasionally doing some damage in the backs as well as the forwards.

Dreau Clark (SG Ball)

Dreau Clark passes the footy. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Group 7 player of the year in the under-18s with the Warilla-South Lake Gorillas is young gun Clark who elevated to a whole new level in 2023.

Inspired his Gorillas to a memorable grand final win from the halves, but will likely return to the second row with the Steelers where he played in Harold Matthews Cup this season.

He’s got a big frame, terrific skill set and plenty of confidence so is more than capable across any role he’s thrust into.

Kasey Reh (Tarsha Gale)

Dreau Clark passes the footy. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Dreau Clark passes the footy. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Another breakout halfback this season with the Stingrays of Shellharbour who was rewarded for a stellar campaign with a halfback spot in the Australian Schoolgirls squad.

Shows wisdom beyond her years from the halves, organising her troops and also providing some invaluable defensive contributions, really standing her out in the contest for the no. 7 jersey.

Evie McGrath (Tarsha Gale)

Evie McGrath  Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Evie McGrath  Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Partner in crime in the halves with Reh at the Stingrays is five-eighth McGrath.

Deceivingly fast and with a bit of x-factor about her, she’s a very well-rounded player and creative provider for her team.

Having also donned the green and gold of Australia in the Schoolgirls squad, it will be interesting to see if the McGrath and Reh combo is the halves pairing that the Steelers run with in 2024.

Jack Talbott (Harold Matthews)

Emerging superstar Jack Talbott. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Emerging superstar Jack Talbott. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

A real x-factor talent who was crowned the Ron Lanesbury Medal winner for the best player in Andrew Johns Cup.

Considering the Dragons didn’t even make the finals series in the 2023 competition, the impression Talbott must have made in this campaign would have been immense.

A fullback who can create something out of nothing, whether it be providing for his team or crashing over himself, while also possessing a terrific kicking game.

Hayden Buchanan (SG Ball)

Hayden Buchanan takes a charge. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Hayden Buchanan takes a charge. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

The excitement machine who went from strength to strength in 2023.

Whether it was for the Gerringong Lions, NSW CHS, Dragons Jersey Flegg or Australian Schoolboys, Buchanan was tearing it up with his blistering pace and physicality from the outside backs.

Buchanan has terrific ability and the work ethic to match, touted as one for the future.

Axel Antony (Harold Matthews)

Axel Antony of the Illawarra South Coast Dragons Laurie Daley Cup side. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Axel Antony of the Illawarra South Coast Dragons Laurie Daley Cup side. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

A solid performer for the Dragons in the Andrew Johns Cup this year, crossing for four tries in his opening three games.

An exceptionally fit lock forward who leads his troops through his actions in the middle.

Has a good turn of pace and loves to take those hard carries.

Hudson Bailey (SG Ball)

Hudson Bailey on a charge. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Hudson Bailey on a charge. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

The lock forward who was a consistent standout in his debut season with the Warilla-Lake South Gorillas in 2023.

A tireless worker who is regarded as one of the best at his role at club level, constantly playing big minutes.

Also feeds very well off his teammate and friend Dreau Clark, a lethal combo that was flourishing for the Gorillas this season.

Sienna Yeo (Tarsha Gale)

Sienna Yeo with the boot. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Sienna Yeo with the boot. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Was terrific in halfback for the side last season, earning a Country call-up during the year as well.

Has had a disrupted career due to shoulder issues in the past, but has been highly impressive since her return.

The Yeo family. (Left to right) Rhian, Zali and Sienna Yeo. Photo: Kevin Merrigan

The Yeo family. (Left to right) Rhian, Zali and Sienna Yeo. Photo: Kevin Merrigan

With lots of competition for the halves positions, she’ll be looking to bring her A-game come pre-season.

She’s also joined in the squad by her sister Rhian Yeo, who is in her first stint with the squad after playing in the Lisa Fiaola Cup last season.

Lykhan King-Togia (SG Ball)

Lykhan King-Togia runs the footy for the Steelers. Picture: steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Lykhan King-Togia runs the footy for the Steelers. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

A rising 18-year-old gun who has been on the rise in 2023, going up that rep ranks from Steelers in SG Ball to Dragons in Jersey Flegg and then NSW Cup.

Typically lining up in five-eighth but also with the ability to play lock or hooker, he’s a top teen talent from Dalby and has a terrific skill set.

Clay Baldock (SG Ball)

Clay Baldock playing for the Steelers Harold Matthews Cup side. Picture Newscorp: Gaye Gerard / Daily Telegraph

Clay Baldock playing for the Steelers Harold Matthews Cup side. Picture Newscorp: Gaye Gerard / Daily Telegraph

Crafty five-eighth who experienced Laurie Daley Cup success with the Dragons before returning to club footy with the Western Suburbs Devils.

Terrific kicking ability, both in play and off the tee, with his game management regarded as the biggest strength to his game.

Another Country 2023 rep, he has utility value to play in centre, fullback or the halves and is dangerous when running the ball.

Kade Reed (SG Ball)

Kade Reed fires a pass in Steelers colours. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Kade Reed fires a pass in Steelers colours. Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Another competing for a spot in the halves for the SG Ball side, having started the season there in Harold Matthews last season prior to injury.

Returning to Western Suburbs for club footy, he ended the season playing in the first-grade halves where he held his own and showed a taste of his ability to step up to the plate.

A strong runner, kicker and director of play.

Indie Bostock (Tarsha Gale)

Indie Bostock in action for the Southern u18 Schoolgirls in this years NSWCHS State trials Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

Indie Bostock in action for the Southern u18 Schoolgirls in this years NSWCHS State trials Picture: Steve Montgomery Sports Photography

A Lisa Fiaola Cup graduate who has been killing it at club level with the Stingrays of Shellharbour.

Brother to NRL Dolphin Jack Bostock, she’s another one of the Shellharbour bunch to be called up to the Australian Schoolgirls side in centre.

A quick ball runner, solid defender and well-rounded player.

Charlie Heidke (SG Ball)

Charlie Heidke of the Berry Shoalhaven Heads Magpies U18s. Picture: Tahlia Crane Photography

Charlie Heidke of the Berry Shoalhaven Heads Magpies U18s. Picture: Tahlia Crane Photography

Carrying on his Steelers journey from Harold Matthews to SG Ball is the explosive centre who found the try line a whopping 22 times this season for the Berry Shoalhaven Magpies.

Has dabbled in rugby before, having represented the NSW Waratahs at the under-16 National Rugby Championships in 2022.

Will look to damage oppositions with his speed, power and brains.

Zane Timmins (Harold Matthews)

Joint top scorer in the Andrew Johns Cup Dragons side last season with five tries in as many games.

Quick, elusive and knows how to get the head down and charge for the line from centre.

Full squads

SG Ball Cup :

Tyrone Amone, Viliami Amone, Hudson Bailey, Clay Baldock, Bohden Barrett, Lucas Borg, Hayden Buchanan, Dreau Clark, Cuba Cleaven-Vanderlaak, Beau Devlin, Aaymon Fitzgibbon, Malakai Folau, Dextar Grant, Charlie Heidke, Eden Hodges, Samuel Kennedy, Lyhkan King-Togia, Tom Kirk, Tom Knox, Drew Langdon, Isaac Laughton, Letham Manago, Bailey Marks, Daniel Meafou, Lincoln Miners, Ramses Munro, Ashton O’Dea, Seth Pearman, Braith Plecas, Kaide Pratt, Kade Reed, Jackson Rieck, Toby Rumble, Lewis Sargent-Wilson, Jackson Smith, Palu Tausala, Darnell Te Ahuru, Jarrah Treweek, Lachlan Weir, Harry Wililo

Harold Matthews Cup :

Mason Andrews, Axel Antony, Beau Baldock, Jake Bill, Jacob Birta, Jett Brookfield, Luke Butler, Baylee Cooper-Sims, Jake Cunningham, Caden Hooper, Tayler Humphries, Phoenix Johns, Blake Jones, Kapene Karaitiana, Cruz King, Jack Koster, Ben Levy, Ruben Mayers, Baxter McDonald, Creighton Meafou, Cooper Morrison, Rhys O’Dea, Lexin O’Dea, Flynn O’Mara, Cruz Pimanovas, Likamani Richter, Mace Scofield, Noah Sepulveda, Noah Skippen, Jack Talbott, Zane Timmins, Harley Trick, Aidan Turner, Leeroy Weatherall, Hayden Whatman

Tarsha Gale Cup :

More Coverage

Famous surnames, next gen stars: 2024 NSWRL Junior Reps squads

Future stars shine in Andrew Johns/Laurie Daley Cup grand final thrillers

Charlotte Basham, Indie Bostock, Ashlyn Breust, Jorja Correia-Kauter, Darcy Eade, Monica Fasavalu Fa’amausili, Anika Green, Bianca Jones, Ella Koster, Sienna Leslie, Brielle Luccitti, Ruby Marshall, Makayla McFayden, Evie McGrath, Hope Millard, Talea Miller, Shayla Moreton-Stewart, Maria Paseka, Herewaka Pohatu, Rangitaiki Pohatu, Kasey Reh, Chelsea Savill, Teagan Smede, Mia Walsh, Bronte Wilson, Sienna Yeo, Rhian Yeo

Lisa Fiaola:

Kayliah Alvey, Halle Barrett, Koffi Brookfield, Maddy Bullock, Charlotte Campbell, Ella Churchill, Holly Czornobej, Alex Down, Alysha Eti, Harper Fursey, April Gray, Ella Greatz, Michala Hardy, Madison Hemopo, Charlotte Holland, Arley Hourn, Kate Howle, Tahleena Jones, Tahanni Kaufusi, Kiara Kostovski, Jayda Lalic, Maddison Lewis, Bella Lord, Sibeal McNamara, Halle Muik, Hine-Waiata Nahona Ponga, Tahlia O‘Brien, Matilda Powell, Bridget Shearer, Holly Sheldrick, Tori Shipton, Skye Spencer, Marli Stevenson, Armani Tanioria, Eliza Taylor, Abby Warren, Tanna Watters

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