Promising prospect Nic Cotric has been rewarded for his outstanding season for the Raiders in the Harold Matthews competition with selection in the New South Wales Under 16’s side set to face Queensland prior to Game 1 of the Holden Cup State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday.
Cotric’s selection not only portrays his exciting natural ability but highlights the tremendous work done by the Raiders junior development staff in nurturing his prodigious talent.
In his first season in the Harold Matthews in 2013, Cotric gained selection at fullback in the Australian Merit side.
Fast forward 12 months and in his second season in Harold Matthews, Cotric was a standout for the Raiders this year scoring 12 tries in 11 games and leading the side all the way to the semi-finals.
Cotric’s Coach in the Harold Matthews, Adam Kyle, believes that the talented fullback’s selection for NSW is a just reward for his efforts this season.
“He certainly showed some talent last year but he had a really good year this year and his selection for NSW is a just reward for his efforts all season,” Kyle said.
Kyle believes that Cotric’s development this year was due to the Valley Dragons junior taking on more of a leadership role within the team.
“I had him in Harold Matts last year and was impressed but he really took on a leadership role this year and took his game to a new level; he can be thoroughly proud of his efforts,” Kyle said.
“When we needed someone to stand up this year he really stood tall and led the way forward. He was consistently one of our best players and really led by example.”
Given his reputation as a big-game player for his age group, Kyle has backed Cotric to thrive in the Origin-like arena and believes that the experience will do wonders for his development.
“I think that he will do a really good job for NSW – he’s big, strong and fast and it will be interesting to see how he goes in such a competitive representative arena,” Kyle said.
“These sorts of games will do wonders for his development, just being amongst the top echelon of players for his age bracket will provide him with a big boost in confidence.
"The future is bright for Nic if he continues to work hard on his game."
The full NSW Under 16s squad is:
Matt Cooper - Newcastle Knights
Nikola Cotric - Canberra Raiders
Sione Hopoate - Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Jessie Abbott - Penrith Panthers
Katoni Staggs - CRL – Wellington Cowboys
Hosea Leuea - Western Suburbs Magpies
Brendan O’Hagan - Newcastle Knights
Emre Guler - South Sydney Rabbitohs
Tom Starling - Newcastle Knights
Brodie Jones - Newcastle Knights
Kurtis Dark - Newcastle Knights
Jai Whitbread - CRL – Tweed Heads
Cameron Murray - South Sydney Rabbitohs
Ryan Papenhuyzen - Balmain Tigers
Giordan Patea - Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs
Jack Cross - Illawarra Steelers
Dion Solaese - Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs
Mosese Suli - Balmain Tigers
Coaches: Dean Young & Ben Hornby – St George Illawarra Dragons
Manager: Steff Ell – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles