Bronson Xerri, Franklin Pele, Jalal Bazzaz and Jason Saab named in 2018 Australian Schoolboys squad

Next big thing: Young Sharks forward Franklin Pele has been included in the 2018 Australian Schoolboys squad. Picture: John Veage
Next big thing: Young Sharks forward Franklin Pele has been included in the 2018 Australian Schoolboys squad. Picture: John Veage

St George Illawarra and Cronulla will provide a handful of the next generation of stars to the 2018 Australian Schoolboys squad.

The squad will represent Australia in England in October.

Cronulla Jersey Flegg and SG Ball representatives Bronson Xerri and Franklin Pele were selected along with Jalal Bazzaz and Jason Saab.

Xerri though has withdrawn from the squad. The talented centre has been tipped to have a bright future at the Sharks and, with the loss of senior outside backs Jesse Ramien, Edrick Lee and Ricky Leutele for 2019, Xerri will instead feature as part of Cronulla’s NRL squad pre-season training.

Xerri and Pele are also Endeavour Sports High School students.

Saab and Bazzaz played SG Ball for the St George Dragons and Illawarra Steelers respectively this season.

Xerri, Saab and Bazzaz were to be teammates in the NSW under-18s State of Origin side earlier this year only for Xerri to be called up to the under-20s alongside fellow Sharks Kyle Flanagan, Blayke Brailey, Isaac Lumelume and Teig Wilton as a late injury replacement. 

Bronson Xerri in action for Cronulla. Picture: Cronulla Sharks

Bronson Xerri in action for Cronulla. Picture: Cronulla Sharks

Xerri, 17, also scored a hat-trick of tries for Newtown in his Intrust Super Premiership debut earlier this season.

Pele, a hard-running forward, joined the trio in the NSW Combined High Schools team who finished runner-up to NSW Combined Catholic Colleges in the National Schoolboy Championships.

The Monty Porter Memorial Sport Foundation will contribute fundraising initiatives to help Pele go on the tour.

Dragons director of rugby league pathways and list management Ian Millward said the club had earmarked Saab and Bazzaz to progress to their under-20s side next year.

2018 Australian Schoolboys squad

Max Altus – Farrer Memorial Agricultural College, Tamworth

Jalal Bazzaz – Illawarra Sports High, Berkeley

Bradman Best – Brisbane Waters Secondary College, Woy Woy

Zac Cini – St Dominic's College, Penrith

Juwan Compain – Palm Beach Currumbin State High, Gold Coast

Stephen Crichton – Patrician Brothers College, Blacktown

Harry Croker – Taree High School

Tom Dearden - Palm Beach Currumbin State High, Gold Coast

Matthew Doorey – Westfields Sports High, Fairfield West

Ryan Gray – De La Salle College – Revesby Heights

Jock Madden – All Saints College, Maitland

Luca Moretti – Waverley College

Ratu Nanovo – Cambridge Park High

Tesi Niu – Marsden State High, Logan

Franklin Pele – Endeavour Sports High, Caringbah

Jason Saab – Westfields Sports High, Fairfield West

Tommy Talau – Westfields Sports High, Fairfield West

Jayden Tanner – Patrician Brothers College, Blacktown

Beni Teaupa – Holy Cross College, Ryde

Star To'a – Newcastle High

Bronson Xerri – Endeavour Sports High, Caringbah

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