The Sharks junior development system continues to produce, with another young player set to make his NRL debut when Cronulla and North Queensland do battle at PointsBet Stadium tomorrow night.
Young lock Billy Magoulias, who has come through the ranks from Matthews Cup, to SG Ball, the NYC and now into the NRL squad, is strongly tipped to become the sixth player to make his top-grade debut in 2019.
The 22-year-old Magoulias has been named in jersey 17 for the Thursday night game, with Coach John Morris giving every indication that the Cronulla Caringbah junior will take to the field for what shapes as a crucial clash.
A member of the State and National Championship-winning Sharks SG Ball side in 2015, Magoulias has played NSW under 18’s and 20’s along the way, before earning his promotion to the full-time NRL training group in 2018.
An integral member of a Newtown Jets side which reached the NSWRL Intrust Super Premiership Grand Final last year, Magoulias has patiently bided his time, this season travelling as 18th man to Brisbane, Melbourne and last week to Wellington without getting the call up.
Tomorrow night his opportunity looks almost certain to arrive, with Magoulias to become the 532nd Sharks First Grade player.
Built along similar lines to Sharks skipper Paul Gallen, Magoulias, while a long way to go to reach the heights of Manly and NSW star Jake Trbojevic, draws some comparisons as a player who competes hard, can cart the ball forward, while possessing good skill and game awareness.
Magoulias has played both lock and hooker for the Newtown Jets in 2019.
He joins other young Sharks to have debuted this year, with Briton Nikora, Blayke Brailey, Bronson Xerri, Will Kennedy and Ronaldo Mulitalo, all having come through the Club’s lower grades and junior development system, playing their first games in the NRL during the 2019 season.
Of those players Xerri and Nikora have cemented NRL berths, with the later also representing the Kiwis in a mid-year test, Brailey’s potential has been realised with his recent contract extension with the Sharks, while Mulitalo, who impressed in the loss to the Warriors, along with Kennedy, have shown their ability to perform at the top level.