As the NSWRL Junior representative season moves closer to kick-off, the young Sharks teams will be in action tomorrow for scheduled trial games against the Newcastle Knights.
The Sharks SG Ball, Matthews Cup and Tarsha Gale teams will have their second-to-last hit out before the start of their respective seasons, while the Knights will also bring Academy squads in the under 16’s and 18’s age groups to take on Cronulla teams in development games.
The junior rep trials will be contested on PointsBet Stadium, with the Development squad matches at the Sharks Academy Fields at Cronulla High School.
A traditionally tough opponent, the Newcastle trials will provide all Sharks teams with a good guide as to their pre-season preparations and progress just two weeks out from the start of their campaigns.
Age groups for the junior rep season have been altered in 2021 following the COVID interrupted year of 2020, with the Matthews Cup now an under 17’s competition, the SG Ball and Tarsha Gale girls both under 19’s.
The Jersey Flegg will be for players under 21, with the start of their season to coincide the NRL getting underway, with their trial matches scheduled to take place in the weeks to come.
All Cronulla sides were extremely competitive in 2020 before the enforced season shut down.
However, while the focus may be on the upcoming junior rep competitions, Sharks Development and Pathways Manager Glenn Brailey was equally excited about the opportunity the two Academy squads have to be playing in Sharks colours and against a quality opponent in continuing their rugby league development.
“Following the COVID impacted year many clubs are reducing their programs, but we are in fact increasing ours with these development squads,” Brailey said. “With the NSWRL age group changes it meant players would have to wait another year before getting a chance to be in a junior rep program. We wanted to continue to develop our local juniors and give them an opportunity to train and come together to better prepare them for what lies ahead.
“Although early in the year, we are excited to be seeing the fruits of our efforts with under 16 players stepping up and performing well in a Matts Cup trial last week, as well as in another game against the Central Coast Roosters.”
The Development squads will remain together, train and play other NRL clubs running similar programs, throughout the 2021 season.
The matches begin at 12 noon at both venues, starting with Matthews Cup and 16’s Academy, followed by SG Ball and 18’s, then Tarsha Gale girls at PointsBet Stadium from 3.00pm.
In case you missed it.....
And in some exciting news for the Sharks and for those to have followed the progress of Fine Kula, the young forward is continuing on his road to recovery and has been added to the Sharks Academy coaching staff. See our video presentation from when Sharks Media caught up with Kula at a Matthews Cup training session earlier this week - CLICK HERE
And for the 2021 NSWRL Junior Rep season draws - CLICK HERE