For nearly 50 years, the Australian Schoolboys have been synonymous with excellence in schools’ rugby league.
Throughout that time, the Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League has hosted National Championships to provide our nations best young players with competition at the highest level and the opportunity to vie for selection for the time-honoured Australian Schoolboys.
From those teams we have seen former Australian Schoolboys graduating to the elite level of the National Rugby League (NRL), State of Origin and the Kangaroos.
While 15- and 18-years championships in New South Wales and Queensland were able to occur, the planned national championships were cancelled for the second consecutive year as the nation continued to deal with the ongoing uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In order to recognise the best schoolboy rugby league players across the nation, the ASSRL Selectors have chosen a 2021 Australian Schoolboys Merit Team selected through a comprehensive process.
Australian Schoolboys Coach Tim White commented: “The 2021 selection process was the most comprehensive and all-consuming process ever undertaken by a selection committee. It started in March and concluded in July after watching hundreds of players from all over Australia both live and in digital form. The selectors visited the Queensland State Championships and watched the best talent Queensland has to offer and then due to Covid only myself could watch the NSW teams in action at their tri series.
"The selection committee consisted of three people including myself, Bob Leitch and Tony Adam and the conversations and assistance were the most professional and thorough in all my time.
"The players from all over Australia were exceptional and in particular the amount of “bush” or regional talent was pleasing to see and represented in the ASSRL team for 2021.
"I enjoyed the whole process and was ecstatic for the team that was finally selected that included not only exceptional players but exceptional human beings and that is the hardest part of the likelihood of no game.
"The way each player selected, not only performed, but held themselves during the trial process was a credit to Rugby League.
"The amount of support from teachers and NRL officials all over the country to help this team get selected is testimony to our great game.
"All I know is Rugby League’s future talent, represented in this team will go on to higher honours in the NRL and representative teams.”
The Australian Schoolboys are recognised as part of the NRL’s elite pathway, and while the capacity to play an international fixture this year is unlikely, the 2021 merit team continues the tradition of representing Australia at the Under 18 level.
"I would like to acknowledge the NRL and our constituent bodies across Australia for their work in bringing a merit team together," ASSRLC president Anthony Lanskey said.
"I also congratulate the players, the officials, their schools and families on this wonderful honour as part of the Australian Schoolboys legacy."
The 2021 Australian Schoolboys
1 Ragarive Wavik Kirwan State High School
2 Dudley Dotoi Kirwan State High School
3 Brandon Morkos Figtree High School
4 Deine Mariner Palm Beach Currumbin High School
5 Michael Asomua Erindale College ACT
6 Thomas Duffy Ignatius Park College, Townsville
7 Tom Weaver Palm Beach Currumbin High School
8 Jaxson Rahme Holy Cross College Ryde
9 Riley Smith St Dominic’s College, Kingswood
10 Jack Cullen Palm Beach Currumbin High School
11 Ryan Foran Palm Beach Currumbin High School
12 Jock Brazel Parramatta Marist High School, Westmead
13 Luke Jacks Ignatius Park College, Townsville
14 Blake Mozer Keebra Park High School
15 John Sagaga Patrician Brothers College, Blacktown
16 Ryan Couchman Bulli High School
17 Lachlan Blackburn St Dominic’s College, Kingswood
COACH: Mr. Tim White Holy Cross College, Ryde
ASSISTANT COACH Mr. Mark Morrison Macleay Vocational College, Kempsey
MANAGER Mr. Tim Wkyes Kooringal High School
TRAINER Mr. Jim Wilson Mackay North, State High School