Toyota Cup Team of the Year revealed

The NRL today unveiled the 2010 Toyota Cup Team of the Year as some of the game’s biggest names rallied behind the competition to declare it the best elite development program in Australian sport. <br><br>Brett Kimmorley, Braith Anasta, Ben Hannant, Tim Sheens, Brian Smith, Steve Noyce and Michael Searle are among those who support a Toyota Cup competition that has revolutionised the development of Rugby League’s rising stars and provided some of the most exciting new faces in the NRL.<br><br>Already, five members of the 2010 Team of the Year have played in the NRL, adding to an impressive strike-rate that has seen 27 of the previous 34 Team of the Year members compete in the top grade.<br><br>The Toyota Cup Team of the Year features players from 12 NRL clubs, with the Broncos fielding the most representatives (three). The Rabbitohs, Bulldogs and Raiders have two each; with the remainder coming from the Dragons, Warriors, Cowboys, Titans, Knights, Roosters, Tigers and Sea Eagles.&nbsp; <br><br>Kimmorley, Anasta and Hannant – who are part of Fox Sports’ Toyota Cup commentary team – today presented Team of the Year players with $34,000 in education and workplace grants while Toyota announced a further $3,000 grant for the Toyota Cup Player of the Year to be named at next week’s Dally M Awards.<br><br>Roosters CEO Steve Noyce, a member of the Toyota Cup sub-committee, today said it was important everyone recognised the crucial role the Toyota Cup plays in Rugby League and the many benefits it has created.<br><br>“This is the only elite, nationally televised, junior competition in Australia and one that rival codes look at with envy,” Noyce said.<br><br>“It is a key part of a game-wide development structure that is attracting and keeping more and more junior players in our game. It is developing them in an elite environment and is giving them education and workplace skills to build careers off the field as well.<br><br>“No other sport offers such a professional and comprehensive elite junior program and it is why rugby league will remain the dominant code when it comes to attracting the best young players to our game.”<br><br>Australian and Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens said the competition has been a key factor in attracting and developing the best junior talent, adding that this year’s finals charge has featured a host of the club’s Toyota Cup graduates.<br><br>“I am a big fan of the Toyota Cup. It’s a very important age to be grabbing kids for our game,” Sheens said. “It’s in its third year and every club has some quality first-graders coming through. We’ve got Robert Lui, Timmy Moltzen, Andrew Fifita and Blake Ayshford who have all come through Toyota Cup.”<br><br>Gold Coast Titans Chief Executive Michael Searle said the Toyota Cup gives local kids the chance to become local heroes – something other codes cannot offer them.<br>&nbsp;<br>“Importantly, the Toyota Cup pathway gives these young players the opportunity to realise their dream of playing for their local club without having to relocate elsewhere to do so,” Searle said.<br><br>Retiring half Brett Kimmorley, who will work with many of the Bulldogs’ Toyota Cup players next year as part of the club’s coaching team, said the competition gives clubs a chance to develop players for the long term.<br><br>“It’s an apprenticeship for these guys and a chance for them to learn to build a football game. You see with the better teams towards the end of the year, they are showing an ability to control the tempo of a game,” Kimmorley said.<br><br>Integral Energy Western Sydney Academy General Manager Greg Mitchell says the Toyota Cup’s combination of football and off-field training is a great selling point for players and their families.<br><br>“We exist in a competitive marketplace and the Toyota Cup provides opportunities for players in Rugby League that no other code can match,” he said. “That’s especially important to mums and dads when making decisions about what sport their son will play.”<br><br>Siuatonga Likiliki is the first player to be selected in the Team of the Year for a second time with this year’s stars joining an honour roll that includes current NRL stars Chris Sandow, Lachlan Coote, Robert Lui, Keiran Foran, Tony Williams, Kevin Gordon, Ben Barba, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Russell Packer and Joel Thompson. <br><br>A Toyota Cup Coach of the Year was named for the first time with the Bulldogs’ Andrew Patmore winning the award, as voted by his fellow coaches. <br><br>This year’s side also features a cross-section of the education and workplace opportunities being undertaken by 98% of players in the Toyota Cup, including community and development officers, carpenters, a real estate trainee, printer, electrician and teaching and business students.<br><br>Each member of the 2010 Toyota Cup Team of the Year will receive a $2,000 education grant in addition to the grants clubs already receive for education and workplace training. They also receive a Toyota Cup Team of the Year plaque and polo shirt.<br><br>The 2010 Toyota Cup Player of The Year will be named during Fox Sports’ live telecast of next Tuesday’s (September 7) Dally M Awards at Sydney’s State Theatre.<br><br>Toyota’s General Manager, Eastern Region, Michael Beris, said that Toyota is thrilled to support young NRL talent in such an important and meaningful way. <br><br>“Through our sponsorship of the Toyota Cup, Toyota is proud to be a driving force in providing education and career development training opportunities to Australia's rising rugby league stars,” Beris said. <br><br>“What’s important to us is that the competition is not just about on-field activity, but instead aims to develop well-rounded individuals through varied education programs. Toyota is proud to be involved with all levels of rugby league. Our goal is to be seen as ‘good for footy’ across all levels of the game.”<br><br>Broadcast partner Fox Sports will continue to televise selected Toyota Cup matches live throughout the Finals Series, including the Toyota Cup Grand Final.<br><br>“If you don't like Toyota Cup, you don't have a pulse. It's a pure form of footy for the real fan played by the game’s future stars for all the right reasons,” said Fox Sports Channels Director Soames Treffry.<br><br>“It makes you feel like David Attenborough trying to work out which of the strongest of the species will survive to make it as a regular NRL first grader!"<br><br><b>The 2010 Toyota Cup Team of the Year</b><br><br>1 Dane Gagai (Brisbane Broncos)<br><br>2 Kalifa Fai-Fai Loa (St George Illawarra Dragons)<br><br>3 Dylan Farrell (South Sydney Rabbitohs)<br><br>4 Siuatonga Likiliki (New Zealand Warriors)<br><br>5 Josh Mansour (South Sydney Rabbitohs)<br><br>6 Aidan Sezer (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)<br><br>7 Sam Williams (Canberra Raiders)<br><br>8 Tariq Sims (Brisbane Broncos)<br><br>9 James Segeyaro (North Queensland Cowboys)<br><br>10 Andrew Clayton (Brisbane Broncos)<br><br>11 Ryan James (Gold Coast Titans)<br><br>12 Sam Mataora (Canberra Raiders)<br><br>13 Ethan Cook (Newcastle Knights)<br><br>14 Brad Murray&nbsp; Sydney Roosters<br><br>15 Dale Finucane (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)<br><br>16 Matt Hyland (Wests Tigers)<br><br>17 Lama Tasi (Manly Sea Eagles)<br><br>Coach Andrew Patmore (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)<br>