Brisbane 10s: Eight young guns to keep an eye on
The Brisbane 10s is the first opportunity for most fans to watch their side in action in 2018 and while some bigger names have been rested, a host of young stars will use the tournament to make a case for more game time this season.
Here’s eight young players to keep an eye out for this weekend.
Brandon Paenga-Amosa – Reds
New reds recruit Brendan Paenga-Amosa was arguably the most dominant forward towards the back end of last year’s Shute Shield season. The physical but mobile hooker plays like a second No.7 around the park and should enjoy the extra space in the 10s format.
Alex Newsome – Waratahs
Former Western Force outside back Alex Newsome scored a double in his first appearance in Waratahs colours last weekend and will try and cement a spot in the Waratahs match day 23 with a strong performance in Brisbane. Heading into just his second Super Rugby season, Newsome has already been compared to former Wallabies stalwart Adam Ashley-Cooper.
Hamish Stewart – Reds
Reds coach Brad Thorn has put his faith in young flyhalf Hamish Stewart ahead of the 2018 Super Rugby season and the 20-year old will use the Brisbane 10s to gain some much needed playing experience against a talented international field. A strong showing at Suncorp will give the young playmaker a huge confidence boost ahead of the Reds Super Rugby opener.
Harrison Goddard – Rebels
Australian U20s halfback Harrison Goddard heads into 2018 on the back of his first professional preseason. The nippy rake likes to snipe around the ruck and plays a similar style to his new teammate Will Genia. Like Stewart, Goddard will gain invaluable experience in Brisbane before returning to the Australian U20s scene later this year.
Henry Hutchison – Rebels
Everyone knows what Henry Hutchison can do on a Sevens field, but the jury is still out on whether the soon to be 21-year old flyer can translate those skills and build a successful XVs career. Hutchison has the perfect opportunity to continue that transition this weekend when he lines up in the new look Rebels side.
Lalakai Foketi – Waratahs
It’s hard to know what to expect from Lalakai Foketi this year. The former Manly Marlin and Australian Schoolboy has spent the past few seasons in New Zealand but returned across the Tasman to join the Waratahs this year. The outside centre started for the Waratahs in last weekend’s trial loss to the Highlanders and should get plenty of opportunities to show us what he can in space in Brisbane.
Isaak Fines-Leleiwasa – Brumbies
Anyone who has watched Premier Rugby in the last two years knows how electrifying Isaak Fines-Leleiwasa is. The 23-year old halfback has spent the past few months in Canberra with the Brumbies and while he’ll battle Matt Lucas and Ryan Lonergan for game time in Brisbane, Fines-Leleiwasa certainly won’t disappoint if he gets a chance.
Mack Mason – Waratahs
There have been big wraps on Mack Mason for quite a few years now. The 22-year old Queenslander was compared to rugby league star Cooper Cronk during his time at the Melbourne Storm. After a year at the Reds, Mason was signed by the Waratahs last year and was called into Michael Cheika’s Wallabies 2017 training squad. While he’s playing behind Bernard Foley at the Tahs, Mason can make a case for more Super Rugby game time with a strong performance in the 10s.