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North Queensland Toyota Cowboys under-20s players Kalyn Ponga, Gideon Gela-Mosby and Brandon Smith are among the players honoured in the 2016 NYC Team of the Year today.

The team was announced at today’s 2016 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series Launch at Allianz Stadium.

NRL Head of Football Brian Canavan said 90 per cent of players who made the NYC Team of the Year went on to play in the NRL.

“It’s become clear that the team is a virtual preview of the next batch of NRL talent,” Mr Canavan said.

“In fact a number of this year’s team have already made their mark in the NRL.

“But just as important as their NRL statistics, I am also pleased to see the education and training that these players are undertaking.

“Last year’s Team of the Year included Tom Trjbojevic, Ashley Taylor, Te Maire Martin and Latrell Mitchell.

“I’m looking forward to see what this next group of players do in the NRL.”


Fullback: Kalyn Ponga (Cowboys) – Bachelor of Education, JCU
Wing: Gideon Gela-Mosby (Cowboys) – Cert IV in Youth Work + Work
Centre: Robert Jennings (Panthers) – Cert III: Career Orientated Participation
Centre: Nick Cotric (Raiders) – HSC Erindale College
Wing: Joseph Manu (Roosters) – Cert III: Career Orientated Participation
Five-eighth: Tyrone May (Panthers) – Diploma: Social Science, Counselling + Teacher's Aide
Halfback: Troy Dargan (Eels) – Bachelor Business & Property Management, WSU
Prop: Alex Twal (Eels) – Bachelor Of Business & Commerce
Hooker: Brandon Smith (Cowboys) – Building/Construction Labourer
Prop: Oliver Clark (Panthers) – Bachelor of Physiotherapy, ACU
Second row: Luciano Leilua (Dragons) – Construction/Scaffolding Labourer
Second row: Jaydn Su'A (Broncos) – Bachelor of Secondary Education, QUT
Lock: Nat Butcher (Roosters) – Diploma of Financial Planning
Interchange: Jayden Brailey (Sharks) – Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science, ACU
Interchange: Matthew Dufty (Dragons) – Cert III Community Recreation
Interchange: Tyrell Fuimaono (Eels) – Bachelor of Business & Commerce, WSU
Interchange: Dylan Edwards (Panthers) – Bachelor of Health and Science

Coach: Cameron Ciraldo (Panthers)

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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