The 2019 World Cup 9s kicks off tonight!
There will plenty of Queensland talent on show, with fellow Maroons Kalyn Ponga, David Fifita, Daly Cherry-Evens, Jai Arrow, Joe Ofahengaue and Ben Hunt lacing up the boots for an action-packed weekend of footy.
Queensland young guns Kalyn Ponga and David Fifita are both tipped to take the competition by storm, however, there are five potential future Queensland Maroons you should be keeping an eye on throughout the tournament.
1. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui - Samoa
The 19-year-old forward has had a glittering breakout season in 2019, after making his debut for the Melbourne Storm in Round 16. The 107kg workhorse has made a name for himself in the Intrust Super Cup, having played in back-to-back grand finals with two separate clubs. Fa’asuamaleaui has played plenty of representative footy in 2019, having played for Queensland in the Under 20s and Residents, as well as the Australia PM’s XIII in last weekend’s match against Fiji in Suva. The young tearaway is an explosive forward with good speed, footwork and upper body strength and is sure to take the competition by storm.
2. Ronaldo Mulitalo - USA
Another Queensland youngster who has enjoyed quite the breakout season in 2019, starring for the Cronulla Sharks after making his NRL debut back in Round 7. The 19-year-old outside back represented Queensland Under 20s earlier this year and has also enjoyed success with the Newtown Jets, claiming both the Canterbury Cup premiership and NRL State Championship. Mulitalo is a try-scoring freak and will be sure to cross for a few exciting tries over the weekend with USA.
3. AJ Brimson - Australia
At the start of the year AJ Brimson was named in the 2019 Queensland Emerging Origin squad along with fellow Maroons Fifita, Ofahengaue, Welch, and Corey Norman. Brimson was also apart of the Maroons’ extended squad for Game III. The young Gold Coast Titans playmaker has been rewarded for his form in recent years with selection in Australia’s 9s squad. At 21, the Gold Coast fullback is an absolute livewire with speed, footwork and playmaking ability and if the Kangaroos can get a roll on Brimson will definitely be in the thick of it.
4. Tesi Niu - Tonga
The Queensland and Brisbane Broncos talent is yet to make his NRL debut, but the 18-year-old is already a star in the making and one of the hottest young prospects coming through the ranks. The Souths Logan Magpies fullback has represented Queensland Under 18s and 20s in 2019, and will likely go on to represent the Maroons in the future. Despite still being eligible to play Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup, the young prodigy made 14 appearances for the Magpies in the Intrust Super Cup, where he quickly made a name for himself. Keep an eye out for the electric fullback who has an endless reserve of footwork, speed and acceleration.
5. Kyle Feldt - Australia
The North Queensland Cowboys flyer is by far the most experienced player on this list, but many fans would argue Kyle Feldt is within arm’s reach of a Maroons debut over the next few seasons. Feldt was named in the 2019 Queensland Emerging Origin squad along with Brimson earlier this year, and has also been a part of several Maroons camps as part of the extended squad. The 105kg winger is a 9s specialist, having enjoyed success with the Cowboys in the Auckland Nines in recent years and will be sure to have the same impact when he runs out for Australia tonight when they take on New Zealand
To view the full World Cup 9’s draw click here