Possible rep footy debutants in 2016: NSW

As the NRL season awaits, I will be looking at three players who could make their representative debuts in 2016. This week I’ll be taking a look at New South Wales.

Tyson Frizell

Nobody expected the Dragons to be partaking in finals football last season. It was assumed that their forwards weren’t good enough to set a platform for their star halves. However, Frizell and co proved the experts wrong in what was a real breakthrough season for the second rower.

Frizell has shown that he is a strong runner of the ball, can produce a good offload and can tackle hard. His performances last season showed that he is highly rated by the Blues staff and was subsequently named as 18th man for Game I last year.

Having recently undergone back surgery, Frizell should debut for the Blues if he can regain his fitness and continue his good form.

Blake Austin

The halves are always a talking point for the Blues but what could be a better solution than selecting the incumbent Dally M five-eighth of the year?

While the Blues’ performances over the years have been admirable, their inability to convert dominance into tries has hurt them.

Possessing electric footwork and arguably the best goatee in world sport, Austin knows where he needs to be on the field to score a try.

With the explosive Austin starting alongside a measured halfback like Hodkinson, the talents each of the men bring to the table could be the beginnings of an Origin winning partnership.

James Roberts

The centres aren’t a position that NSW lacks depth in but the reigning Dally M centre of the year is a name that’s hard to look past.

Renowned for his speed, Roberts was the shining light in a horrific season for the Titans. The scary thing is that at the Broncos, Roberts will have more creative playmakers around him who will produce more chances.

Although the 22-year old has the added pressure of replacing one of the greatest centre’s the game has seen in recent years, Robert’s will flourish under Wayne Bennett’s tutelage.

The question with Roberts shouldn’t be: will he play Origin? It should be: Where should he start?

Despite him playing most of his football in the centre’s will Laurie Daley force either Josh Morris or Michael Jennings out for Roberts? Or will Daley decide to utilise Roberts’ pace on the wing.

Whether he forces his way into the centres or starts on the wing, a debut for the Blues awaits.

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