Burleigh Bears junior Tuvalli Khan Pereira is following a similar path to David Fifita and will represent Queensland Murri Under 16 team for the second consecutive year.
Tuvalli was an integral part of the Queensland Murri team that defeated NSW Koori team 36-26 at Mudgee last year and is excited to once again be selected in the squad.
“It means a lot to be able to represent my people and my Indigenous culture,” Tuvalli said.
“I’m proud of my Indigenous heritage and I am grateful that I get another opportunity to wear this Queensland Murri jersey.
“It also means a lot to be able to represent my state, my family and everyone back home on the Gold Coast.”
In an eventful 2018 season, Tuvalli was an influential member of the Queensland Maroons Under 15 school side that defeated NSW CCC 36-10 at the National Schoolboy Championships, in Mackay.
As a result, he was selected in the Australian Schools 15-years Merit Team; and was also named player of the final.
“It was so good to be able to get the win last year in Mackay, it was a dream come true,” Tuvalli said.
“We had a really great team and a great group of boys.”
“It’s great to be able to play with boys from the Queensland Maroons Under 15 team,” Tuvalli said.
“Having boys like Ezra and Keanu come into the (Murri) team really gives me confidence, having previously formed combinations with these boys at the National Schoolboy Championships."
QRL representative programs and female elite pathways manager Mitch Constance has followed the progression of the young fullback through junior representative programs, and was confident he would bring a lot to the Murri side.
“It’s great to have Tuvalli back in the Queensland Murri side for the second consecutive year,” Constance said.
“He is a talented young player and is a great role model for the young players in this team.”
Tuvalli is the most experienced player in this year's side and also shared that he would be looking to take on a leadership role with the Murri team.
Tuvalli, along with former Murri and Queensland Under 16 representative player Reece Walsh, both attend Keebra Park State High School on the Gold Coast and have formed a strong bond.
“I really enjoyed playing alongside Reece in last year’s Murri v Koori game,” the Kambu Warriors player said.
“He is someone I look up to as a player.
“He (Reece) is really compassionate, he loves playing the game and is a tough competitor.”
The Queensland Murri Under 16 v NSW Koori Under 16 game will be played before the Charity Shield clash between NRL heavyweights South Sydney Rabbitohs and St George Illawara on Saturday, March 2 at Glen Willow Oval, Mudgee.
Fans will be able to watch the Queensland Murri Under 16 team in action via the QRL Livestream – details to come.
Follow the Murri side's progress this week via the new Queensland Rugby League (QRL) Instagram page.