Shute Shield: Top 10 Recruits of the 2019 Season So Far
We’re five rounds into the 2019 season and already some new faces are beginning to impress for their respective clubs.
The Shute Shield attracts players looking for an opportunity from right around the world so we thought we’d take a look at a handful who have impressed so far.
Charlie Gamble – Easts
The Kiwi No.7 was named NSW Subbies player of the year in 2019 has been one of the better players in an inconsistent Beasties outfit.
Following the early retirement of flanker Rowan Perry, Gamble popped up at Woollahra at the perfect time and has been strong on the ball ever since.
Beaudein Waaka – Manly
Former New Zealand Sevens flyer Beaudein Waaka has settled in nicely to his new home at Manly Oval.
The Marlins backline produced their best performance of the season on Saturday as Waaka starred in a two point win over Southern Districts.
Jack Lindsay – Norths
Lindsay traded the red and black of Canterbury for that of Norths after crossing the ditch at the start of 2019 and has shown his class already.
The Kiwi has found a spot at No.13 for the Shoreman but can cover a number of positions in the backline, something that could prove vital later this year.
Mahe Vailanu – Gordon
After following his coach from Warringah to Gordon, Mahe Vailanu has been brilliant for the Stags since shifting from hooker back to flanker.
Vailanu is the centrepiece of an impressive back row that led Gordon to an upset victory over Sydney Uni on Saturday.
Tiaan Henk Swanepoel – West Harbour
The South African flyhalf with a monster boot has found his feet at Concord and is starting to form some strong combinations in a new look Pirates backline.
West Harbour started the year with close to an entirely new starting XV and with Swanepoel leading the way, are going to worry plenty of teams later this year.
Tayler Adams – Eastwood
The 2017 Ken Catchpole Medal winner has found a new home at TG Millner after injury brought his time with the Melbourne Rebels to an end and it hasn’t taken Adams long to show his class.
Two time premiership winning playmaker Jai Ayoub left big shoes to fill when he retired at the end of last season, but Adams looks like he’s up for the challenge of filling them.
Noah Cooper – West Harbour
After playing with ITM Cup side Northland in 2018, Cooper has been the glue that has held the new look West Harbour side together in the opening weeks of the season.
The classy fullback has plenty of poise and knows how to control the tempo of a match, something that will go a long way for the occasionally erratic Pirates.
James Hasson – Southern Districts
In his first year of rugby, former NRL and Irish rugby league international James Hasson is improving every week.
The rangy backrower used his long limbs perfectly to lay on a fantastic offload that led to a try against Manly on Saturday.
Enoka Muliufi – Eastwood
While Tayler Adams earned most of the attention at Eastwood over summer, former West Harbour centre Enoka Muliufi may be just as big a signing.
Muliufi trained the house down during preseason and while injury has disrupted his progress slightly, the big inside centre has already become a crowd favourite at TG Millner.
The Irish flyhalf is one of a number of new faces in the Stags backline this year and has barely put a foot wrong, particularly with the boot.
Kearns led Leinster Schools to a 10-point victory over Australian Schools in a tour match back in 2013.