Western Australia's growing NRL impact
While rugby league has been the sport of choice for people on Australia's east coast, there is no denying the push to promote the game across the Nullarbor in Western Australia.
The NRL is already littered with several stars from WA, with Curtis Rona, Waqa Blake and Bryson Goodwin all emerging from the westernmost state's junior system.
With an impressive pathways program in place, it comes as no surprise that six Western Australian players have already made their Holden Cup debuts in 2016. Here's a look at how some of WA's brightest prospects have started their careers in the NYC.
Kurt DeLuis has been the standout Western Australian product in the opening fortnight of the Holden Cup. The 20-year-old prop forward led from the front in Parramatta's Round 1 win over the Broncos, charging for 183 metres. He also made 114 metres in just 36 minutes in the Round 2 loss to the Cowboys, and is expected to feature in the Intrust Super Premiership in 2016. The South Perth Lions junior has been named on the bench for this week's grudge match with the Bulldogs.
Josh Rogers has started life in the NYC well, featuring in both of Gold Coast's Holden Cup matches to start 2016. The young five-eighth had an impressive career in Western Australia, winning the 2014 Life Members' Rising Star Award in his first year for the North Beach Sea Eagles in the Smarter than Smoking Premiership.
Harry Leddy made his NYC debut for the Rabbitohs in their Round 2 loss to the Knights, coming off the bench as the side's utility player. He has again been named on the interchange for this week's clash with the Dragons. The talented playmaker is a product of Aranmore College in WA, having come through the system at the North Beach Sea Eagles.
St George-Illawarra's Keelyn Tuuta-Edwards is a versatile 19-year-old capable of playing in the centres or the back-row, and featured in coach Matthew Head's side for the Round 1 loss to the Storm. The impressive youngster joined the Dragons after coming through the ranks at the Rockingham Sharks, before representing the West Coast Pirates in the SG Ball competition. Tuuta-Edwards has incredible footwork for a player of his size, and has the added bonus of being able to kick goals.
Sam DeFiddes grew up playing for the Joondalup Giants, where he was their Player of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The boom rookie played two seasons for the West Coast Pirates in SG Ball, and was a member of the Western Australian state side in 2013 and 2014. A robust centre capable of playing in the back-row, the 19-year-old has looked at home for the Wests Tigers in the first two rounds of the Holden Cup.
Kainoa Gudgeon has an impressive start to his career in the Holden Cup, scoring a double on debut in the Round 1 win over the Titans. The winger had a solid stint with the West Coast Pirates in the SG Ball competition, and has taken his talents to Newcastle in a bid to further his career. The South Perth Lions junior has formed a deadly combination with centre Cory Denniss, who could be in line to make his NRL debut this weekend.