On a night celebrating another outstanding junior rep season from both the Matthews Cup and SG Ball Sharks, Under 18’s back rower Teig Wilton joined an illustrious list of names when awarded the Junior Representative Player of the Year.
Beating out a hot field which included NSW junior Origin and Australian Schoolboy players, Wilton was rewarded for a season where he played to a consistently high level and helped the Sharks Ball team qualify for the Grand Final.
Having joined the Sharks in 2017 after making the move to the Sutherland Shire from his home in Narooma on the South Coast, Wilton would go on to play for the NSW Origin 18’s before recently being selected in the Australian Schoolboys team to tour New Zealand in September.
His name will now be engraved alongside the likes of Chad Townsend, Luke Douglas, Barry Russell and Michael Porter on the Greg Peirce Perpetual Trophy.
Also on the night Bronson Xerri, despite having another season of eligibility in the SG Ball remaining, was chosen by Dave Howeltt for the Coaches Award, with the star outside back joining Wilton in the Australian Schoolboys team.
Xerri, from the Aquinas Colts club, was named player of the series at the recent Australian Secondary Schools carnival.
The SG Ball Sharks won their way through to the Grand Final, only to fall to the Parramatta Eels in a hard-fought contest.
In the Matthews Cup, coach Glenn Brailey selected lanky backrower Kai Parker as his Coaches Award winner, while lock Damon Smith took out Player of the Year honours.
The under-16 Matthews Sharks finished second after the home and away season before being bundled out in the second week of the finals.
Special awards were given for try and tackle of the year in both age groups, while NSW and Queensland junior Origin players were presented with their framed match-worn jerseys.
In the final award of the night, SG Ball hooker Harrison Smith was acknowledged for his efforts in education, employment and for his contribution to the community in being named as the winner of the Junior Rep Wellbeing Award.
In a display of the importance they place on the Junior rep program and the pathway it provides, NRL Head Coach Shane Flanagan, his NRL Assistants James Shepherd and Steve Price, High Performance Manager Andrew Gray and Holden Cup Coach John Morris were all in attendance on the night.
2017 Sharks Junior Representative Presentation Night - Award winners
Junior Representative Player of the Year
SG Ball - Player of the Year
SG Ball - Coaches Award
Matthews Cup - Player of the Year
Matthews Cup - Coaches Award
Tackle of the Year
Matthews Cup – Douglas Levi
SG Ball – Ronaldo Mulitalo
Try of the Year
Matthews Cup – Eliah Veikoso
SG Ball – Franklin Pele-Jaeman Salmon
Australian Schoolboys - 15s Merit Team
NSW Combined Catholic Colleges
NSW Combined High Schools
Billy Burke (15s)
Douglas Levi (15s)
Junior Representative Wellbeing Award
Lead photo - Teig Wilton with the Greg Pierce Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the Junior Rep Player of the Year.