Five Wests Tigers' Holden Cup players in 2014 will be part of the full-time extended NRL squad in 2015 as they continue to build towards their first-grade debut.
Over the coming few days, Wests Tigers will preview the next generation of talent coming into the ranks of the full-time NRL squad next season.
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One of the standout performers for the Wests Tigers Holden Cup side in 2014, Dallas Graham is set to join the extended full-time NRL squad next season.
Earning a contract extension earlier in the year that will see him remain at the Club until at least the end of 2016, Graham has excelled throughout his two seasons in the National Youth Competition.
A hard working prop forward, the 20-year-old’s performances in 2014 earned him high praise from NYC Assistant Coach, Balin Cupples.
“Dallas has held his own and been the form player for the 20s this year,” he said. “He is very structured in how he approaches the game.
“Dallas’ carries are strong, he gets good quick play-the-balls and defensively, he’s really key in controlling tackles and winning tackles back and giving his teammates those little 1-3 second periods to get back and get good line speed.
“His efforts are huge and he’ll definitely take that into his NRL career.”
Spending last pre-season with the NRL squad was a key factor in Graham’s development, with his performances in this year an improvement on what was a solid introduction to the Holden Cup in 2013.
“Compared to last year where he’s still played a lot of games for us off the bench, in terms of his impact and the minutes and the things he’s done and the tackles that he’s won for his teammates this year, it’s been phenomenal,” said Cupples.
“Dallas is someone who’s had to put in a lot of hard work and he did just that in the off-season and through the pre-season with the NRL squad.
“He came back into our squad and has been dominant up front.”
Another graduate of Keebra Park High School, Graham stands at an ominous 1.9 metres and will add depth to a squad already boasting fellow props Aaron Woods, Martin Taupau, Keith Galloway and Ava Seumanufagai.
A highlight of the 2014 NYC season for Graham was co-captaining the Wests Tigers side towards the back-end of the year with five-eighth Te Maire Martin.
Graham also made his NSW Cup debut this year, playing one match against the Warriors in Round 22, in which he topped the tackle-count with 38.
Named in the Junior Kiwis train-on squad this week alongside five of his teammates, selection in the final team to play the Junior Kangaroos on October 18 would cap off a stellar 2014 season for Graham.
Player Profile: Dallas Graham
D.O.B. — 23rd April 1994
Position — Prop
Junior Clubs — Kapiti Bears, New Zealand
Previous "Five for the Future" Profiles
Part I — Manaia Cherrington (click here to read)
Part II — Delouise Hoeter (click here to read)
Part III — Nathan Milone (click here to read)