By Seagulls Media

The QRL yesterday announced the Queensland Under 18s team, with three Wynnum Manly Seagulls being named in the side set to take on New South Wales before the State of Origin opener at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday night.

Seagulls young guns Harrison Graham, Reece Hoffman and Jake Simpkin have been named in Coach Kurt Richards’ team as a result of impressive performances during the 2019 Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup competition.

Harrison Graham (Image: Patrick Kearney/Patrick Leigh Perspectives)

The Wynnum Manly trio all played key roles in the success of the Seagulls Mal Meninga Cup side throughout the competition, with Hoffman and Simpkin stepping into the Wynnum-Manly Hastings Deering Colts in recent weeks.

Hoffman and Graham have come through Redlands Juniors and Wynnum Manly Junior clubs respectively, with both teens selected to take part in the Seagulls Academy before landing contracts with the club’s senior playing squads and being chosen as part of the Emerging Seagulls program.

Reece Hoffman (Image: Patrick Kearney/Patrick Leigh Perspectives)

Simpkin joined the Seagulls in 2019 from his hometown Toowoomba, following standout performances during his school years at St Mary’s. Since making the move, Simpkin has played a pivotal role in the club’s Mal Meninga Cup and Hastings Deering Colts sides.

Also announced yesterday was the Queensland Secondary School Boys squad, which saw the inclusion of fellow Seagulls players, TC Robati (Marsden State High School) and Jayden Clarkson (Wavell State High School).

Queensland Schoolboys and Seagulls Hastings Deering Colts Coach, Joe O’Callaghan said the number of Wynnum Manly players selected in the sides is exciting for the players as well as testament to the club’s development program.

“The Seagulls have put a strong focus on junior development in recent years with the appointment of Glen Dreger as Academy Manager, and it’s a real testament to the players and also the staff running the program to have these young guys selected in these sides.”

The Seagulls are affiliated with eight junior clubs in the bayside, which is something that the club have endeavoured to capitalise on in recent years, says Dreger. “We’ve been working hard at the Seagulls to try and make the most of the depth of young talent we have amongst our junior clubs, so seeing these boys selected is a huge positive and a really promising sign for the development of our junior players.”

The Queensland Under 18s will assemble in Brisbane this Thursday, ahead of their clash against New South Wales on Wednesday June 5.

Queensland Under 18s

Xavier Coates – Tweed Seagulls
Juwan Compain – Tweed Seagulls
Harrison Graham – Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Reece Hoffman – Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Jack Howarth – Easts Tigers
Joshua James – Norths Devils
Alofiana Khan-Pereira – Burleigh Bears
Trent Loiero – Sunshine Coast Falcons
Jack Martin – Ipswich Jets
Fanitesi Niu – Souths Logan Magpies
Brendan Piakura – Tweed Seagulls
Tristan Powell – Burleigh Bears
Jake Simpkin – Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Hamiso Tabuai–Fidow – Townsville Blackhawks
Carsil Vaikai – Tweed Seagulls
Sam Walker – Ipswich Jets
Reece Walsh – Tweed Seagulls

18th man: Toby Sexton – Tweed Seagulls

Coach: Kurt Richards