The countdown to the NRL season is officially on (if it wasn’t already) but, for a number of New South Wales hopefuls, around the country their immediate focus will be on this Saturday’s Emerging Origin camp.
One of these hopefuls selected by Head Coach Brad Fittler is aspiring New South Welshman Tyrell Fuimaono, who enjoyed a stand-out rookie season in 2017. After making his debut against Wests Tigers in May, he went on to play 15 games straight, slotting into centre or second row.
Fuimaono will be accompanied by fellow teammates Campbell Graham, Angus Crichton and Cameron Murray, amongst 34 other players at ANZ Stadium for a skills session and lessons from some of the greatest names ever to don the sky blue jersey.
Assistant NSW coach Danny Buderus is one of these greats who has been keeping a close on eye on Fuimaono and likes what he sees.
“Aggression. The leg speed aggression, he’s got a bit of slight footwork as well. He can break the game open, very comfortable in the tackle, comfortable in the hit ups, playing the ball,” Buderus said.
“He seemed to be doing things really well around those areas as you’d expect with the programs that they’ve got there at Souths.
“He’s still learning his craft as well and getting a relationship with the guys inside and outside of him, once he nails that down he’ll be another one with a pretty handy career in front of him.”
It’s difficult to pinpoint when Fuimaono will be making the leap into the Origin arena, however the prospect of that rests firmly in the hands of himself and the coaching staff present at the NSW Emerging Blues camp. Something which is echoed by Buderus himself.
“You never know what’s going to happen but our job is to just keep projecting and keep working hard with them,” he said.
“Engaging with them and keeping that fire burning to keep working hard to get that Blues’ jersey. It’s always too hard for us to work out if it’s going to happen but, at the end of the day, it comes back to them.
“It comes back to their choices, it comes back to what they want to do in their career and I’m sure a lot of them want to play for New South Wales.”