His National Rugby League career is only 28 minutes old, but 2016 was the breakthrough year that launched Josh Chudleigh as a genuine top-tier player of the future.
The 2014 NYC Cowboy of the Year earned an NRL squad contract in 2015, and went on to produce a stunning season for the Mackay Cutters, the young hooker named that club’s player of the year.
This season, coach Paul Green rewarded Chudleigh, 22, with his NRL debut.
The Canberra product played his first, and to date only, first-grade match in his home town as the Cowboys took on the Raiders in Round 18.
Deputising for Jake Granville, Chudleigh couldn’t have done much more in his first outing, scoring a splendid solo try and working hard for 19 tackles in less than half an hour of playing time.
Heading back to the Cutters, Chudleigh’s star continued to rise at the back end of the season with a two-year contract extension and the receipt of The Courier-Mail Medal awarded to the Intrust Super Cup Player of the Year.
With veteran No.9 Rory Kostjasyn signed with the Knights, look for the Chudleigh name as a regular on Cowboys’ team sheets in 2017.
Run metres: 50