READY FOR BATTLE: Gold Coast Titans recruits Ben Liyou and Jake Martin with former under-18s mentor and Titans development officer Shaun Davison.
READY FOR BATTLE: Gold Coast Titans recruits Ben Liyou and Jake Martin with former under-18s mentor and Titans development officer Shaun Davison. Contributed

Future NRL stars taking to the field in Coffs

RUGBY LEAGUE: Quality rugby league action has come early for footy fans on the Coffs Coast in 2019, with the Gold Coast Titans and Newcastle Knights elite development teams facing off this Sunday.

The matches will also feature North Coast juniors Ben Liyou and Jake Martin, who both made the move to the Gold Coast in November to join the Titan's development system and link up with Tweed Heads Seagulls in the Mal Meninga Cup (under-18s).

"I am really keen for the game. We know it is going to be a tough one,” former Grafton Ghost Liyou said.

"Newcastle have always been strong in the junior ranks, and this clash will give them a chance to flex that muscle.

"It is definitely nerve wracking pulling on the Titans jersey. There is a lot of pressure to perform on the field, most of it internal but the coaches are looking for us to perform.”

For Martin, who will likely line up in the centres against the Knights, the nerves have already kicked in ahead of the trial.

"This is only my second time wearing a Titans jersey and it is a big occasion each time,” he said.

"Also all of my family and friends will be there to watch so there is a bit of added pressure. It's not daunting, it is just really exciting and also nerve wracking at the same time.”

The games have been welcomed by the Coffs Harbour Comets with president Steve Gooley admitting it was a rare chance for people on the North Coast to witness rugby league of the highest quality.

"The Comets are proud and very fortunate to have been asked to host what is going to be two fantastic games of rugby league this Sunday,” he said.

"Both sides will be full of quality young players all vying to one day be given the chance to play in the NRL.”

The games are being played at Geoff King Motors Oval with the U16s beginning at 2pm and the U18s at 4pm.



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