Selection gives fuel to NRL dream
Dreams of playing for the National Rugby League [ NRL] are within reach for Keanu Dawson who has been selected for the Queensland Under 18 team for State of Origin.
The former Tokoroa boy moved to Australia five years ago and was signed to the Gold Coast Titans U14 representative side as well as the Queensland U15 squad.
Now at 18 years old, the Burleigh Bears Colts player has moved up the ranks and will play his first game on June 17 in Melbourne.
The 108kg front row prop was anxious about the match against New South Wales.
‘‘Just knowing both states hate each other and both want to win.’’
The pressure was on but when he was one of 18 to be selected out of ‘‘ hundreds’’ of hopefuls, it appeared his talents earned him the spot.
In preparation for the game, he’s focused on training both his body and mind. ‘‘Everyone can be physically ready but if you’re not mentally ready, you’re going to get left behind.’’
With that goal in mind, Dawson has made sure to rule out any distractions and make ‘‘ positive choices’’ in order to move up in the world of league.
‘‘I definitely hope to play NRL, that’s the big goal.’’
Dawson has played league from about 5 years old and was taught by many of his league-mad family who were all supportive no matter what ventures he went on.
One of those is his grandfather, whom he lives with in Australia.
‘‘He’s done everything for me like taking me to trainings.
Coach Anthony Seibold said he’s yet to see more of Dawson’s talents but was excited by his performance in the Junior Emerging State of Origin Camp.
‘‘I was really impressed with the way he trained in that camp. He’s a really aggressive ball carrier.’’
Seibold said he looked forward to see Dawson in the start row.
While trainings will be ‘‘typical’ for the elite players, their selection is a chance to experience league at a higher level, he said.
has been selected out of hundreds to play
in the Queensland Under 18 league