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3 Group 11 Stars I’m Keeping My Eye On This Weekend

One of Rugby League’s greatest breeding grounds will have some talented rookies hoping to make their mark in the NRL via the Nines this weekend.

Plenty of names have come from NSW’s Central West including current NRL players Jessie Ramien, Blake Ferguson, Tyrone Peachey, and the Penrith trio of Naden, Ellis and Yeo, but there are 3 rookies debuting at the Nines this weekend that I’m very interested in.

Matt Burton

Panthers Matt Burton. Pic Brett Costello

Hailing from the Dubbo Cyms, Burton started 2019 in Jersey Flegg before moving into the NSW Cup side later in the year. Burtom also got a late callup in the NSW Under 20’s where he scored 2 tries in a Man of the Match performance. Also in 2019 Burton made his NRL Debut filling in for James Maloney in the Panthers round 21 win against the Sharks.

Safe to say he is in Cleary’s plans for 2020.

Burton has great awareness and a head mature beyond his years, with the open space Nines provides, expect him to cause a few headaches with the limited time he has.

Disclaimer: The fact he has a striking resemblence to the GOAT Jeremy Latimore has nothing to do with my appraisal

Billy Burns

Panthers Billy Burns. Pic Megan Dunn

One of the best names in League, with one of the best moustaches.
It’s heaven….

From the Parkes Spacemen, Burns has been in the Panthers development system for the past few years, earning himself in a starting spot in the NSW Under 20’s team, and was the Panthers leading try scorer in NSW Cup in 2019. Burns made his NRL Debut in 2019, scoring 2 tries against the Newcastle Knights a week later.

A tall lad with better footwork than a young Patrick Swayze, expect him to score, or setup at a few tries this weekend.

Darby Medlyn

Darby Medlyn. Pic NRL Photos

Another product of the Spacemen, Darby is a pure leader, and tough as nails, while being one of the nicest and humble kids to ever lace a boot. Suited for the back row, with skills that wouldn’t look out of place in the #6 jersey.

This kid was showing up first graders in Group 11 since he was in under 6’s.

Yet to make his NRL Debut, Darb co-captained the Jersey Flegg team to the Grand Final in 2019, while also filling in for the Mounties in the NSW Cup, he was also rewarded with selection in Blues successful campaign in the Under 20’s Origin.

While Medlyn is strong in defence, it isn’t an aspect many focus in on over the Nines tournament. However if when there is a linebreak made by the Raiders, (and he isn’t the player making it) expect him to one of the first there in support and bag a few Meat Pies in the process.



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