Young gun to be unleashed in Falcons clash
A teenage speedster has been unveiled as the Sunshine Coast Falcons centre for their round one clash on Saturday.
The Bokarina-based outfit had plenty of options when selecting their squad to face the Northern Pride in their first home game for points in more than a year.
Five Melbourne Storm players have been named in the side with Nicho Hynes, Darryn Schonig, Trent Loiero, Cooper Johns and Jack Howarth all heading to the Coast.
Howarth, a new face in the Storm's top squad, has coach Sam Mawhinney excited.
The 18-year-old has been named at centre.
Howarth comes from a rugby union background in Brisbane and has represented the Australian Schoolboys and Queensland Under 18s in 2019.
The decision to fend-off career prospects with the Queensland Reds and Wallabies, then sign a contract with the Melbourne Storm was a big one, but is paying off with the teen set to be unleashed this weekend.
Mawhinney said Howarth was definitely an up and comer in the game.
"To let him unleash will be pretty exciting," he said.
"He'll be a handy one for us - I haven't seen too much of him but I've kept an eye on him coming through the grades.
"He tore up the rugby season, scoring multiple tries every week and he's certainly been on the radar for rugby league in general."
Howarth was originally allocated to the Storm's other feeder club, the Brisbane Tigers.
"We spoke to Melbourne earlier in the week, we were originally allocated Reimis Smith and George Jennings," Mawhinney said.
"Melbourne didn't expect they'd be playing this early in the season.
"So for balance, they said 'we're actually going to change Jack and send him across'."
Nicho Hynes will be back in the fold after missing out on a Storm call-up for a second straight week.
"It obviously only strengthens the side to have Nicho, we didn't expect we would see him in round one," Mawhinney said.
"With Harry Grant out and Tyson Smoothy in, it means Nicho is free to play for us.
"And Trent is back with another year under his belt that he's spent in that system and he'll come back bigger and stronger."
The Sunshine Coast Falcons will meet the Northern Pride at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday at 3pm.
1. Nicho Hynes
2. Paul Ulberg
3. Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga
4. Jack Howarth
5. Nat McGavin
6. Cooper Johns
7. Todd Murphy (C)
8. Darryn Schonig
9. Kurt Baptiste
10. Patrice Siolo
11. Trent Loiero
12. Dane Hogan (C)
13. Sam Burns
14. Jarrod Mullen
15. Sam Bernstrom
16. Daniel Dole
17. Tom Geraghty
19. Luke Polselli
20. Tom Rafter
21. Louis Geraghty