Ryan Harper, Kayne Lockett, Dre Pakeho, Ailai Price and Jack Robinson are set to finally make their debuts in the green and gold next year.
All were in the Tagaroos’ Boys 16 Gold squad for the 2020-21 Trans-Tasman series, which was delayed and finally cancelled due to COVID.
Rachael Harper has received her sixth international call-up in five years and is in the Australian Women’s 21 squad.
All will go to Sydney for the Big 4 Invitational against Lebanon, the Pacific Island and an Invitational side next year.
In charge of the Under 17 team will be Craig Newald, from Narangba, who “plays a bit” at North Lakes, but mainly coaches.
“It’s a big step up for these guys,” said Newald, also assistant coach of the national Over 40s team, “but they are the cream of the crop coming through.
“We have a lot of players here who can make that step up and go further if they want to. It’s just a matter of commitment and determination.
“Ryan has been coming through and we’ve seen dramatic development in the last 12 months. He’s really come on.
“Rachael has been in the national squad for five years now. She’s ‘been there, done that’ since she was 16.
“This is a big deal for them. Next year is World Cup selection and the guys will have to make the Under 20 team for Ireland in 2023.”
The path to a green and gold jersey starts with centres combining for trials to select teams, in all age groups from Under 10 to seniors, for the Australia Nationals.
At the nationals, Tagaroos selectors choose a top 32 and then top 16, with six shadow players, from the Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
“Going from such as North Lakes and Caboolture modules to playing state cup and then national level against teams from Townsville, Weipa and NSW is a big step,” said Newald.
“New South Wales is particularly strong in Oztag.”
For more on Oztag in this region visit: Northlakesoztag.com, redcliffeoztag.com, cabooltureroztag.com, fernyhilloztag.com or queenslandoztag.com.au
Rachael Harper, 20, from Wamuran. Described as a very good Rover/ball player. Has played Oztag 10 years, at North Lakes. Sixth time selected Australia.
Ryan Harper, 17, from Wamuran. Plays a link role. Has played Oztag seven years at Cabooture, Bray Park and North Lakes. First call-up for Australia.
Kayne Lockett, 17, from Deception Bay. Plays in middle (half-back or five-eighth role). Has played Oztag five years at North Lakes. First call-up for Australia.
Dre Pakeho, 16, from Kallangur. Plays in middle and rover role. Has played Oztag four years at Bray Park and North Lakes. First call-up for Australia.
Ailai Price, 17, from Morayfield. Described as a lighting fast winger. Has played Oztag three years at Caboolture and North Lakes. First call-up for Australia.
Jack Robinson, 17, from Mango Hill. Described as a very quick winger. Has played Oztag five years at North Lakes. First call up for Australia.
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