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Future Bulldogs

CeeEss

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It’s Sydney’s biggest and best nursery for our next generation of NRL stars.
And today the coach who has masterminded Westfields Sports High’s rugby league program for the past 17 years has provided a rare insight into what makes this public school at Fairfield West so hugely successful.

From superstars Jarryd Hayne and Israel Folau to Issac Luke, Luke O’Donnell, Trent Hodkinson and David Klemmer, the list of NRL graduates is as illustrious as it is long.

And it is now reaching almost phenomenal proportions, with some of the more recent young guns including Tommy Talau, Jason Saab, Sione Katoa, Brandon Wakeham and Jake Averillo, to name just a handful.

Throw in some of the most talked about teenagers currently on NRL development contracts, including Manly’s super talent Josh Schuster and the boom young forward Sione Fainu, and there’s no denying Westfields is schoolboy rugby league’s new benchmark.

Having won three of the past four NSW titles, Westfields also bowled over that star-studded Keebra Park team a few years back, that included Payne Haas and David Fifita, to be crowned national champs.

And ahead of the new schoolboy season that kicks off on August 12, coach Wayne Lambkin has also opened up about the stars of tomorrow who will have NRL clubs jumping over themselves for years to come.


Coach Wayne Lambkin with young guns Solomone Saukuru, Joseph O’Neill and Apisalome Saukuru. Picture: Monique Harmer
Coach Wayne Lambkin with young guns Solomone Saukuru, Joseph O’Neill and Apisalome Saukuru. Picture: Monique Harmer
TOMORROW’S CHAMPIONS

You might want to write down these names because they would already be in the sights of every NRL talent scout.

Joseph O’Neill is a five-eighth on the books at Canterbury, and by Lambkin’s estimations a very rare talent. Now in his third year in the open team, the coach explained what makes O’Neill so special goes beyond athletic gifts.

“Joseph started in our open team at 16 and over the last 18 months has just improved out of sight,” Lambkin said.

“He is just a scholar of the game, and you wouldn’t meet a nicer kid. It’s not only his footy, he is so modest. You wouldn’t know he is as talented as what he is.”

Joseph O'Neill is on the books at Canterbury. Picture: Monique Harmer
Joseph O'Neill is on the books at Canterbury. Picture: Monique Harmer

He then picks out two towering brothers, Apisalome and Solomone Saukuru. Both stand about 193cm, and while they play front or backrow in the Bulldogs’ junior reps, at Westfields Lambkin plays Solomone at fullback or centre.

“I keep saying to him, ‘while you can play fullback and centre, why would you want to put your head in the forward pack?’”

Then there’s this flying Fijian hooker who play SG Ball for Souths, Tuvana Vesikula.

“Dynamic out of dummy half,” Lambkin said.

“He is Api Koroisau, could even been a little bit quicker.”

Solomone Saukuru. Picture: Monique Harmer
Solomone Saukuru. Picture: Monique Harmer
Apisalome Saukuru. Picture: Monique Harmer
Apisalome Saukuru. Picture: Monique Harmer

Every kid from Year 7 to 12, Lambkin knows their background, and more importantly what makes them tick.

There’s about 100 kids who try out for a spot in Westfields’ rugby league squads for every age every year, and of those only 20 can make each team. Which is why no one gets a free ride.

“No one gets scholarships here, the school is deadset against it,” Lambkin said.

“It sometimes goes against us because you’ve got Blacktown Pats and Fairfield Pats and the Catholic schools that do (give scholarships) … But they have always stuck solid here. It is a public high school and everything has to be above board, so we work with that.

“And we build our strength through coaching and having the discipline around them off the field.”
 
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ASSASSIN

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My boy is a future Bulldog. I already know I want him at WSH.

First Assyrian, Iraqi and Russian in the game lol

With that bloodline, you now know why he loves watching clips of O'Meley lol Pure animal
 

stingray

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Notice how many saukurus in the junioir bulldogs?

Not trying to open a cAn of worms but there is a person high up in the bulldogs recruitment who is a saukuru pushing his own kind and family

honestly no where did I say it was rigged, honestly I didn’t
 

ASSASSIN

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Notice how many saukurus in the junioir bulldogs?

Not trying to open a cAn of worms but there is a person high up in the bulldogs recruitment who is a saukuru pushing his own kind and family

honestly no where did I say it was rigged, honestly I didn’t
There is politics from Under 6s to the top my bro. Having been a coach and VP of a juniors club opens your eyes to it.
 

habs

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Wayne Lambkin coached the lower grades at the dogs I think.
 

Nano

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Isn't fairfield part of clubs area/reach? Surely we need to chuck some money into that school to get some first rights lol
 

diddly

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Westfields is selective high school - they get first pick of the high quality sports kids from primary schools - drains the talent from other schools in the area and beyond. Lot of the talent is also picked off by private catholic n independent schools.
The politics in selection of rep squads has always been in the game - i was involved in jun rep teams from the late 80s through the 90s - making state and national age teams is not a good indicator of future success.
 

Mitch Connor

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Notice how many saukurus in the junioir bulldogs?

Not trying to open a cAn of worms but there is a person high up in the bulldogs recruitment who is a saukuru pushing his own kind and family

honestly no where did I say it was rigged, honestly I didn’t
There is/was a Saukuru coaching SG Ball. I recall that being a touchy subject.
 
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