Today we pick our two second rowers for our Greatest Team in the National Youth Competition.
Contenders: Jarrad Kennedy, Mark Nicholls, Joel Thompson, Mitch Barnett, Josh Papalii, Jack Murchie
Molyneux - “Joel Thompson is one of my backrowers although he played just as well in the centers. He had great footwork, good anticipation and was defensively very strong. Papalii was the same. He had great footwork for a big man and is quite quick over a short distance which made him really dangerous on an edge.”
Mulholland – “In the second row, obviously Josh Papalii gets in. I think Joel Thompson is a very underrated player as an edge backrower.”
Hamilton – “I’ve gone with Thompson and Papalii who both have brilliant skillsets. Papalii obviously has so much power in his game and Thompson is as tough as they come.”
25 appearances, 2010-2011
Papalii’s career speaks for itself. At only 25 years of age, the second rower has made 149 appearances for the Raiders and represented Queensland, Australia and Samoa.
During Papalii’s first season playing in the NYC set up, the side finished inside the top eight before making the preliminary final.
Papalii made only nine NYC appearances the following year as made the transition to First Grade where he quickly became a permanent fixture.
21 appearances, 2008
There were plenty of quality players in the Raiders 2008 NYC Premiership and Joel Thompson certainly fits into the category.
Capable of playing at center or in the second row, Thompson was named in the 2008 NYC Team of the Year.
Since making his NRL debut during the 2008 season, Thompson went on the make 89 appearances for the club before representing St George Illawarra.
Thompson has joined the Manly Sea Eagles for the 2018 season.
Canberra Raiders Greatest NYC Team
1. Josh Dugan
2. Edrick Lee
3. Jarrod Croker
4. Jack Wighton
5. Nick Cotric
6. Anthony Milford
7. Sam Williams
8. Paul Vaughan
9. Travis Waddell
10. Shannon Boyd
11. Josh Papalii
12. Joel Thompson
Tomorrow we complete our starting side as we select our lock.
Barry Molyneux was the Raiders NYC long-serving team manager.
David Hamilton oversaw junior development at the Raiders from before the NYC’s inception in 2008 until 2015.
Peter Mulholland is the Raiders current Recruitment and High Performance manager, having taken over the role after Hamilton’s departure.