Karratha, Hedland players make State rugby league teams

Alicia PereraPilbara News
North West Reds players Cassius Hulbert, 14, Branden Kahui, 15, Isiah Wuruki, 12, Travis Reti, 14, and Jack Rolle, 15, have all gained selection to NRL WA State teams after impressing at the Junior State Championships.
Camera IconNorth West Reds players Cassius Hulbert, 14, Branden Kahui, 15, Isiah Wuruki, 12, Travis Reti, 14, and Jack Rolle, 15, have all gained selection to NRL WA State teams after impressing at the Junior State Championships. Credit: Sian Rolle

The strong performances of three Pilbara youngsters at the NRL WA Junior State Championships last week has seen them win State team selection.

Jack Rolle and Travis Reti, both of Karratha, and Isiah Wuruki, of Port Hedland, were selected for the under-15s and under-12s Schoolboy State Squads respectively after impressing at the WA rugby league event.

The players competed as part of Pilbara and Kimberley representative group North West Reds in its third year of attending the tournament.

North West Reds organiser and Karratha Junior Rugby League president Nic Rolle said the committee was proud of how many boys had made State selection, calling it the group’s “best result yet”.

“It really gives them that extra step in the pathway to progress further in rugby league in future, by putting them in the WA system and giving them opportunities to play in the national championships,” he said.

“It’s a really good opportunity, especially for the two under-15s because it’s the first time we’ve had anyone in the under-15s selected to represent WA.”

The boys’ selection comes after two Pilbara under-12s players were chosen for the State team in 2018.

Two Perth players filling in for the North West Reds under-15s side, Cassius Hulbert and Branden Kahui, also qualified for the WA team.

Jack, 15, said he was excited about making the under-15s team and the future opportunities that could stem from that.

“I’ve worked really hard to make it, and I’m excited to get the experience of playing and training with new people in a stronger team,” he said. “It could lead up to making higher teams such as the under-18s, under-20s or Academy, and if I push through, in the very long-term hopefully making the NRL.”

Isiah’s mother Tash Wuruki said her 12-year-old son was passionate about rugby league and thrilled to make the State side.

“He’s very excited about the possibilities that could come out of this... if he could potentially pursue (the sport) further, he will,” she said.

“For him to go to national competitions and have development officers everywhere watching those games, from that there could be the opportunity for him to play more rugby league at the level.”

Jack, Travis and Isiah will begin training for the State team next term and will compete in national event the Combined Affiliated States Championships in July.

The North West Reds took a total of two teams to the Junior State Championships this year.

The under-15s finished third in their division and the under-12s finished last.

Karratha will be the host of the 2020 NRL WA Junior State Championships.

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