North Queensland Toyota Cowboys under-20s players Kalyn Ponga and Jake Clifford have been named in this year's NYC Team of the Year, announced at today’s 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series launch at ANZ Stadium.
Clifford, a crafty halfback, has been a standout performer in his debut National Youth Competition season, and will join the Cowboys main squad from 2018 on a two-year deal.
Dynamic Ponga has played for two coaches in 2017 – Paul Green and Aaron Payne – and helped the young Cowboys to a fifth-place finish for the regular season.
NRL Head of Football Brian Canavan said eight of the 16 clubs were represented in the 2017 NYC Team of the Year.
“This year’s Team of the Year is once again filled with some exciting talent and I can’t wait to see these players progress,” Mr Canavan said.This year’s team joins an honour roll that includes some of the NRL’s most talented stars, including career Cowboy and reigning dual Dally M Medallist Jason Taumololo.
2017 NYC TEAM OF THE YEAR:
Fullback: Kalyn Ponga (Cowboys)
Wing: Sione Katoa (Sharks)
Centre: Phillip Sami (Titans)
Centre: Jesse Ramien (Sharks)
Wing: Greg Leleisiuao (Eels)
Five-eighth: AJ Brimson (Titans)
Halfback: Kyle Flanagan (Sharks)
Prop: Patrick Carrigan (Broncos)
Hooker: Wayde Egan (Panthers)
Prop: Payne Haas (Broncos)
Second-row: Briton Nikora (Sharks)
Second-row: Jack Murchie (Raiders)
Lock: Billy Magoulias (Sharks)
Interchange: Victor Radley (Roosters)
Interchange: Blayke Brailey (Sharks)
Interchange: Reed Izzard (Panthers)
Interchange: Jake Clifford (Cowboys)
Coach: John Morris (Sharks)