U20s stars Nene Macdonald, Brendan Elliot and Willis Meehan have today be unveiled in the 2014 Holden Cup Team of the Year at NRL HQ today.

Players from nine clubs have been selected for the Holden Cup Team of the Year which was unveiled by the NRL today.

Head of Football, Todd Greenberg said the National Youth Competition, known as the Holden Cup, is proving more important than ever before in preparing young players for the NRL.

He said the NYC had developed a host of young stars in 2014 who were already establishing themselves as first grade regulars.

These include Jake Mamo (8 first grade games), Joseph Tapine (7) and Sione Mata’utia (5) from Newcastle, Valentine Holmes (5) from the Sharks, Nene Macdonald (7) from the Roosters and Tepai Moeroa (7) from the Eels who had all been included in the Holden Cup Team of the Year.

“Some of these players, like Nene and Tepai, may have the opportunity to play Finals football in the NRL this year,” Mr Greenberg said.

“That is an incredible achievement – to go from the youth competition to the finals of the toughest competition in the world in the same year.

“But I think that indicates how strong the Holden Cup has become – and how well it prepares our young players for the NRL.”

Among the players from last year’s Holden Cup Team of the Year who played first grade this year were Luke Brooks, Michael Lichaa, Bryce Cartwright, Corey Oates and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

Mr Greenberg said the Holden Cup had been closer than ever this year with more than 50 games being decided by a margin of 6 or less.

Mr Greenberg said he was particularly pleased that so many Holden Cup players were taking on full time careers in addition to their football.

“Naturally we hope our young players will have successful NRL careers but the reality is that many of them will not become full time footballers.

“So it is important they pursue other employment and the NRL provides careers advice to help them move into tertiary studies and other work.

“It is no surprise, therefore to see members of the team of the year working in everything from hospitality and small business to nutrition and telecommunications.”


The official Holden Cup team of the year is:
 

No.

Position

Player Name

Club

1

Fullback

Jake Mamo

Knights

2

Wing

Valentine Holmes

Sharks

3

Centre

Sione Mata'utia

Knights

4

Centre

Brendan Elliot

Roosters

5

Wing

Nene Macdonald

Roosters

6

Five-Eighth

Te Maire Martin

Tigers

7

Half-Back

Drew Hutchison

Dragons

8

Prop

Andy Saunders

Panthers

9

Hooker

Manaia Cherrington

Tigers

10

Prop

Sam Lisone

Warriors

11

Second-row

Nelson Asofa-Solomona

Storm

12

Second-row

Tepai Moeroa

Eels

13

Lock

Willis Meehan

Roosters

       

14

Interchange

Danny Levi

Knights

15

Interchange

Joseph Tapine

Knights

16

Interchange

Addin Fonua-Blake

Dragons

17

Interchange

Kane Elgey

Titans

       

 

Coach

Mick Crawley

Knights