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The 5 unknown NRL players who'll emerge in 2021


With less than two weeks until the NRL season kicks off, former Origin representative Scott Sattler has named five players to look out for in 2021.

Speaking on SEN 1170's Around The Grounds, Sattler expects the five youngsters to breakout and make a name for themselves early in their careers.

Despite being relatively unknown currently, fans should know the names of these players by the end of the season.

5. Harley Smith Shields (Canberra Raiders)

“He’s a centre at Canberra,” Sattler said.

“With Jarrod Croker missing the start of the season you might find that he’ll start the season in the centre.

“He’s a really good player this kid. He’s not overly big but he’s a really athletic kid. I think we’ll see a fair bit of him.”

4. Sam Hughes (Parramatta Eels)

“He’s a 111 kilo front rower, he’s just turned 20.

“I think he is a player who’s got amazing athletic ability for a big kid.

“I think we’ll see a fair bit of him, he’ll get his first taste of NRL.”

3. Darius Farmer (Gold Coast Titans)

“He’s a New Zealand Under 18 representative.

“I thought he would have played more NRL last year, but because the second tier was put on delay he never got his chance.

“He’s going on 21 years of age, he’s about 6 foot 3, 6 foot 4, a real Sonny Bill Williams frame.

“A strong second rower and we’ll start to see a bit more of him towards the end of this year.”

2. Sam Walker (Sydney Roosters)

“My favourite player who I think we’ll see this year, he’s a halfback and the son of Ben Walker who played a lot of NRL.

“He’s got good DNA, he’s built and plays a lot like Daly Cherry-Evans when he first came in as an 18-19 year old.

“Great player, I think we’ll see a lot of him in the number seven jersey for the Roosters."

1. Tolu Koula (Manly Sea Eagles)

“He’s the one I’m really looking forward to, he’s a 100m and 200m sprint champion.

“From all reports a couple of months of athletic training he was running 10.5 second 100 metres.

“I heard Manly were going to coach him into becoming a centre, but I think he’s an out and out fullback.

“He can run, he has really good peripheral vision and really good footwork.

“He has blinding speed and with Tom Trbojevic missing he’ll get a run early in the year.

“He’s a pretty special kid, I’m looking forward to seeing him in 2021.”

Listen to the full list below:

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