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The 12 schoolboys talents that have rugby league in their blood

The 12 schoolboys talents that have rugby league in their blood (Photo : Jasper Catton dies in for a try for the Cronulla Sharks Photo : Steve Montgomery)
The 12 schoolboys talents that have rugby league in their blood (Photo : Jasper Catton dies in for a try for the Cronulla Sharks Photo : Steve Montgomery)

The 12 schoolboys talents that have rugby league in their blood

Author : James Phelps and Andrew Dawson News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom

The 12 schoolboys talents that have rugby league in their blood

If rugby league truly runs in the blood, then these 12 schoolboys with famous NRL relatives will be set to take the ASSRL National Championships by storm.

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You will recognise their last names but not necessarily their faces.

Ennis, Vella, Rodwell and Galuvao are famous surnames from the past but the next generation is starting to come through.

There is also the nephew of a Cronulla royal, one is the son of a current NRL coach and another is hoping to follow both his father and his three big brothers into the NRL.

Meet the 12 teenagers who are following in the famous footsteps of their fathers, uncles, brothers and cousins.

Set to compete in the All Schools Championships in Brisbane beginning July 2, the nephew of Andrew Ettingshausen, the son of Brad Arthur and the youngest of John Hopoate’s 11 children will all be in contention to make the ­Australian schoolboys.

Every match of the Championships, which return after a three-year hiatus, will be exclusively live streamed by News Corp’s grassroots sports service, KommunityTV.

In an exclusive preview ahead of the rugby league carnival that will see the best schoolboys in Australia compete in an interstate spectacular, News Corp Australia runs the rule over the second generation stars who will compete in the All Schools Championship.

Lehi Hopoate

(John Hopoate, son)

St Augustine’s Brookvale, NSW
NRL Affiliation: Sea Eagles

Excitement machine Lehi Hopoate could be the fourth brother to make it to the NRL. (Pictures by Julian Andrews).

He has already produced three NRL playing sons and John Hopoate could soon make it four with the youngest of his 11 children a rugby league star on the rise.

Brother to former NRL players Will, Albert and Jamal – and of course son to John – Lehi is on track to continue his family’s stunning legacy.

An outside back in the mould of his oldest brother Will, Lehi is contracted to the Sea Eagles just like his father was.

Lehi could become the second Hopoate to make the Australian Schoolboys team after Will was selected in 2008. The Augustine’s College student has been picked as winger for the NSW CIS team.

Taj Brailey

(Jayden and Blayke, brother)

De La Salle College, NSW
NRL affiliation: Sharks

Taj Brailey’s dream of becoming an NRL player will not fail because of lack of advice with the Cronulla hooker surrounded by rugby league wisdom.

The son of Sharks development guru Glenn, Taj is also the brother of current NRL stars Jayden and Blayke.

A De La Salle product who has been selected to play for the NSW CCC side in the All Schools Championships, Brailey is a big chance of becoming an Australian Schoolboy just like his big brother Blayke who won selection in 2015 and 2016.

Michael Roberts

(James Roberts, brother)

Palm Beach Currumbin State High, Queensland
NRL affiliation: Dolphins

Michael Roberts has already proven speed runs in his family, starring for Palm Beach Currumbin in the Langer Trophy. Picture: Liam Kidston

Another ‘Jet’ could be taking off in Queensland with the brother of Wests Tigers speedster James Roberts on the NRL runway and ready to fly.

The brother of James Roberts, one of the quickest players to have laced on a boot, Michael is on track to become the Jet Mark II after being signed by the Redcliffe Dolphins.

A Queenslander unlike his brother who played for the NSW Blues, Michael has been a schoolboys star for Palm Beach Currumbin State High.

He is a naturally gifted back who can play anywhere in the spine.

Jasper Catton

(Andrew Ettingshausen, nephew)

De La Salle College, NSW
NRL affiliation: Sharks

The nephew of Andrew Ettingshausen, Jasper Catton is following in the footsteps of his famous uncle.

Attending De La Salle College as the legend known as ‘ET’ did, Catton also made a stunning representative debut for the Sharks this season when his Cronulla career started with selection in Harold Matthews.

Playing in the backrow for the team that made the grand final, Catton was arguably the best line runner in the competition.

And just like his uncle, who played 328 games for the Sharks in a storied career, Catton scored a swag of tries to announce himself as a future star.

While he won’t be playing in the All Schools Championship this year, Catton will have his chance to make the Australian Schoolboys next year when he moves into Year 12.

Judah Galuvao

(Joe Galuvao, son)

Patrician Brothers’ College, Blacktown, NSW
NRL affiliation: Panthers

Like his father before him, Judah Galuvao has found a spot among the Penrith Panthers exciting junior ranks. Picture: Julian Andrews

Joining the likes of Nathan Cleary, Jett Cleary and Mavrick Geyer, Judah Galuvao is yet another son of a gun on the books at the Penrith Panthers.

The son of Penrith premiership hero Joe — who combined with Tony Puletua to form a ‘hairy’ backrow partnership that helped the Panthers to glory in 2003 — Judah has been a standout for Patrician Brothers this year.

Judah’s sister Praise is also a star rugby league player who has represented the Eels in the Tarsha Gale Cup.

Jack Ennis

(Mick Ennis, son)

St Patricks, Sutherland
NRL affiliation: Unsigned

A crafty hooker or half like his famous father, Ennis junior will play for the NSW Combined Independent Schools side in the All Schools Carnival.

A former De La Salle, Cronulla, player, Jack now plays alongside some of the best schoolboy players in the country in an all-star Under 15’s side at Cronulla Caringbah.

While his father coaches his brother Randy, another star in the making who plays in the Under 12s for De La Salle, Mick gets to his games before rushing off to work as an NRL commentator for FoxSports.

Alex Leapai

(Alex Leapai Sr, son)

Mabel Park State High, Queensland
NRL affiliation: Roosters

Imposing Mabel Park forward Alex Leapai is the son of former Australian professional boxer Alex Leapai Snr. Picture: Attila Csaszar

While his father did not play in the NRL, Alex Leapai has a heavy hitting name that can’t go ignored.

Already signed by the Roosters, Leapai is the son of former Australian heavyweight boxing champion Alex Senior.

Sharing both his father’s name and size, Alex Junior is a hard-hitting prop who, despite his imposing size, is still in Year 11.

Matthew Arthur

(Brad Arthur, son)

Patrician Brothers’ College, Blacktown, NSW
NRL affiliation: Eels

Matthew Arthur is a genuine leader for the Patrician Brothers Blacktown side and has shown an impressive level of talent in the Parramatta junior system. Picture: Jonathan Ng

The son of Eels coach Brad and brother to Jakob, Matthew could be headed to the NRL to join the rest of his family after proving himself a player of the future by making the NSW Under 18s Combined Catholic Colleges side.

Matthew is already an Eel, just like his brother and father, having worn the blue and gold this year while playing for Parramatta in the Harold Matthews Cup.

Toby Rodwell

(Brett Rodwell, son)

Edmund Rice College, Wollongong, NSW
NRL affiliation: Roosters

While his father was a Steeler through and through, Toby looks set to begin his NRL career as at the Roosters after being snapped up by the tricolours.

The son of former Illawarra star Brett, Toby announced himself as an NRL player in the making when he demolished Country in a man of the match performance while playing for the City Under 16s team earlier this year.

Rodwell is rated by some good judges as the best schoolboy halfback in the country even though he is only 15. His father Brett played 156 games for the Steelers before finishing career at the Rabbitohs.

Mostly a centre, Brett also played State of Origin for NSW.

Finau Latu

(Solomon Haumono, nephew)

Patrician Brothers Fairfield, NSW
NRL affiliation: Dragons

Patrician Brothers forward Finau Latu is the nephew of former Bulldogs big boppa Solomon Haumono. Picture: Toby Zerna

A Penrith junior who was recruited by the Dragons, Latu is the nephew of Solomon Haumono.

While his uncle was an explosive prop who started his career with the Bulldogs, Latu is a crafty lock with both skills and power.

Don’t expect too many of his junior rivals to pick a fight with Latu given Haumono went on to become a heavyweight boxing champion following a rugby league career that included seven international appearances for Tonga.

Lachlan Vella

(Michael Vella, son)

Cherrybrook Tech High, NSW
NRL affiliation: Eels

The son of former NRL hardman Michael, Lachlan is a prop in the mould of his famous father.

Vella Sr has been spotted proudly prowling the sidelines at Lachlan’s games and is expected to be in Brisbane next week to watch his son compete in the All Schools Championships.

Michael played 159 games for the Eels and represented NSW and Australia during a stellar career.

Jamal Shibasaki

(Gehamat Shibasaki, brother)

Ignatius Park College, Queensland
NRL affiliation: Broncos

Jamal Shibasaki (middle) has been a key cog in an impressive Ignatius Park engine room this season. Picture: Nic Darveniza

The brother of NRL player Gehamat, Jamal Shibasaki starred for the Townsville Blackhawks playing left edge during the Meninga Cup season.

Big and strong with plenty of pace, the forward has shown his versatility playing through the middle for a strong Ignatius Park College pack in the Aaron Payne Cup. Has been snapped up by the Broncos.

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Peter Mulholland Schoolboy Cup

Wednesday, June 22

2022 Peter Mulholland Schoolboy cup Rnd 1 Draw, Results, Ladder & Players’ Stat’s

12pm: St Dominic’s College v Hunter Sports High (Action Photo’s SOON)

12.30pm: Patrician Brothers Blacktown v Westfields Sports

1.30pm: Hills Sports v Endeavour Sports High

Wednesday, June 29

11am: Farrer MAHS v All Saints Maitland


Illawarra Sports High v Hallam College

Erindale College v The Grange P-12 School

Patrician Brothers Fairfield v Holy Cross College, Ryde

Bass High v St Gregory’s College

*Games expected to be scheduled for start of Term 3

Tuesday, May 31

Tuesday, May 31

11am: Patrician Brothers Fairfield 64 – 0 Farrer MAHS

Wednesday, June 1

11am: Holy Cross College 38 – 24 All Saints Maitland

11.30am: Erindale College 64 – 0 Illawarra Sports High

12pm: Endeavour Sports High 20 – 14 Patrician Brothers Blacktown (Action Photo’s Monday 13 June)

Wednesday, June 8

12pm: St Dominic’s v Bass High

1.30pm: Hunter Sports High v St Gregory’s College

11am: The Grange P-12 College v Hallam College

Thursday, June 9

Westfields Sports High v Hills Sports High

Queensland Results

Langer Cup

Ipswich SHS 24 – 16 Keebra Park SHS

Aaron Payne Cup

Mackay State High School 0 – 32 St Patrick’s College

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