20 QLDers to watch for the future

Queensland's State of Origin team is currently undergoing a 'changing of the guard' period with long-term greats like Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater hanging up the boots.

This year saw the highly-anticipated debut of Kalyn Ponga in Maroon, along with other talented Queensland youngsters Jai Arrow and Felise Kaufusi.

The state has a plethora of young talent progressing through the ranks that could potentially one day step up.

Below is a list of Queensland youngsters to keep an eye on over the next few years, as they look to make a name for themselves in the NRL:

1. AJ BRIMSON
(HALVES, FULLBACK)
GOLD COAST TITANS / TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS
SUMMARY: Young playmaker who has represented Queensland at junior rep levels, and is now making a name for himself on the Gold Coast, teaming up with fellow Queensland emerging player Ash Taylor at the Titans. A versatile young player who is most dangerous when he is running the ball.

2. JAKE CLIFFORD
(HALVES, FULLBACK)
NORTHERN PRIDE / NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
SUMMARY: Regarded by Johnathan Thurston as the future of North Queensland Cowboys. Clifford has lead the 'total points scored' tally for the most part of the season in the Intrust Super Cup, and has recently stepped up to partner JT in the halves at the Cowboys. Recently starred for Queensland Under 20s, scoring two tries and winning the Man of the Match award (pictured).

3. DAVID FIFITA
(BACK ROW, FRONT ROW)
BRISBANE BRONCOS / SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES
SUMMARY: A star in the making, David Fifita is an 18-year-old wrecking ball, and is one of few players to have played Mal Meninga, Intrust Super Cup and NRL in the one season. Recently captained the Queensland 18s, and was selected to represent Queensland 20s, but withdrew due to NRL commitments. Watch this space.

4. COREY ALLAN
(FULLBACK)
BRISBANE BRONCOS / SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES
SUMMARY: Talented young fullback who is highly regarded by the Brisbane Broncos. Allan has represented Queensland and Australia at junior rep levels and was recently a part of the Queensland Under 20 side in their 30-12 victory over NSW. Allan is set to link up with former Queensland assistant coach Anthony Seibold next year, after recently signing a three-year deal with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

5. TANAH BOYD
(HALVES)
BRISBANE BRONCOS / SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES
SUMMARY: 17-year-old Tanah Boyd is a young gun playmaker currently contracted to the Brisbane Broncos. Tanah has made a named for himself, representing both Australia and Queensland at junior rep levels. Boyd has forged a solid combination with fellow Brisbane Broncos contracted players David Fifita and Fanitesi Nui, after recently winning the Mal Meninga competition together with Souths Logan Magpies.

6. PAT CARRIGAN
(BACK ROW, FRONT ROW)
BRISBANE BRONCOS / WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS
SUMMARY: A talented young forward with a huge motor. Carrigan recently captained the winning Queensland Under 20s, and has been one of the standout forwards in the Intrust Super Cup in 2018.

7. REED MAHONEY
(HOOKER, BACK ROW)
PARRAMATTA EELS / WENTWORTHVILLE MAGPIES
SUMMARY: A dynamo hooker who is making a name for himself at Parramatta. Mahoney recently made his NRL debut at hooker for the Eels and has been impressive with his solid defence and crafty dummy half running game. Another player who was a part of the Queensland Under 20 side in 2018.

8. HARRY GRANT
(HOOKER)
MELBOURNE STORM / SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS
SUMMARY: A revelation in the Intrust Super Cup, in Season 2018 with the Sunshine Coast Falcons. Currently contracted to the Melbourne Storm, Grant has represented Queensland at junior rep levels and will be looking to lock down an NRL jersey at the Storm as Maroons great Cam Smith nears the end of his career.

9. TINO FA'ASUAMALEAUI
(BACK ROW, FRONT ROW)
EASTS TIGERS / MELBOURNE STORM
SUMMARY: Tino is a powerhouse young forward who has represented Queensland at junior levels and was recently part of the Queensland 18s and 20s sides.

10. LACHLAN LAM
(HALVES)
SYDNEY ROOSTERS / WYONG ROOS
SUMMARY: The son of former Queensland Maroons captain, and halfback Adrian Lam. Like his father, Lachlan is a talented half with a great kicking game. Having already represented PNG in the World Cup and Queensland at junior rep levels, it won't be long before we see Lam running around in the NRL.

11. GEHAMAT SHIBASAKI
(WING, CENTRE, FULLBACK)
BRISBANE BRONCOS / NORTHS DEVILS
SUMMARY: Like many others on this list, Shibasaki has represented Queensland for a number of years at junior rep level. In 2018, Shibasaki has played for the XXXX  Queensland Residents and Queensland 20s and is on the cusp of an NRL debut with the Brisbane Broncos.

12. LACHLAN LEWIS
(HALVES)
CANTERBURY BULLDOGS
SUMMARY: Nephew of Queensland Maroons legend and the King, Wally Lewis. Lachlan recently debuted for the Canterbury Bulldogs, and has also represented Queensland at junior rep levels. A talented young halfback with a solid kicking game and is not afraid to take the line on.

13. ENARI TUALA
(CENTRE, WING & FULLBACK)
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS / NORTHERN PRIDE
SUMMARY: Currently looking to cement his spot in the North Queensland Cowboys backline. At only 19 years of age, Tuala has already represented Queensland at junior rep levels, and has been impressive in his first 10 NRL Games.

14. TRISTAN SAILOR
(WING)
ST GEORGE DRAGONS
SUMMARY: Son of former Maroons flyer Wendell Sailor. Tristan is a young Queensland speedster who has already represented Queensland at junior rep levels, and will be looking to progress into the NRL in the next few years.

15. LACHLAN TIMM
(FRONT ROW & LOCK)
MELBOURNE STORM / SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS
SUMMARY: Powerful young forward who is not far off an NRL debut for the Melbourne Storm. Currently playing for the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Intrust Super Cup, and has represented Queensland at junior rep levels.

16. JAKE TURPIN
(HOOKER)
BRISBANE BRONCOS / REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS
SUMMARY: Another young Queensland hooker who is on the cusp of NRL. Previously made his NRL debut for the Brisbane Broncos in Round 17, and has been a solid performer for the Dolphins in the Intrust Super Cup.

17. BILLY WALTERS
(HALVES)
MELBOURNE STORM / EASTS TIGERS
SUMMARY: Son of former Maroons legend and current Maroons coach, Kevin Walters. A young half who is looking to progress into the NRL over the coming years. Walters has been a standout for Melbourne Storm feeder club, Easts Tigers and will be looking to take the next step and lock down an NRL jersey.

18. MURRAY TAULAGI
(CENTRE, WING, FULLBACK)
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS / NORTHERN PRIDE
SUMMARY: Talented young winger who is currently playing for the Northern Pride, in the Intrust Super Cup. Taulagi has represented Queenslandat junior rep levels and will be looking to transition into the NRL in the near future.

19. FANITESI NIU
(FULLBACK)
BRISBANE BRONCOS / SOUTHS LOGAN
SUMMARY: A freakish young talent coming through the Queensland junior system. Niu has represented QLD at junior rep levels and has formed a great partnership with fellow Queensland young gun Tanah Boyd. Watch for these two over the next few years as they look to force their way into the NRL.

20. CORY PAIX
(HALVES)
BRISBANE BRONCOS / NORTHS DEVILS
SUMMARY: Cory Paix is another young half whom Brisbane Broncos are grooming as part of their next generation. Paix has represented Queensland at junior levels, and is regarded by Darren Lockyer as one of the best young prospects coming through the system, along with fellow half Tanah Boyd.