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Queensland under-18 halfback Sam Walker.

Two sons of rugby league guns loom as game breakers for their respective teams when the Australian Schoolboys and Junior Kiwis clash at Dolphin Stadium on Sunday.

Roosters-bound halfback Sam Walker, the son of former Broncos, Manly and South Sydney half Ben Walker, will be a key figure for the Australian Schoolboys.

The Junior Kiwis will unleash Kayal Iro, the son of former Kiwi international Kevin Iro, in the centres.

Walker signed a two-year deal with the Sydney Roosters after meeting with coach Trent Robinson and five-eighth Luke Keary.

The Ipswich Grammar School student represented Queensland under-18s this year and is regarded by the Maroons hierarchy as a future State of Origin player if he can keep developing.

"Sam is certainly a jack-in-the-box who plays with a lot of tempo and reads the game really well," Australian Schoolboys coach Tony Adam said.

"He has a lot of skill and craft and that gives us a lot of options. We are excited about what he is going to bring to the table on Sunday.

"The great thing about Sam is that he backs himself. It is going to be a tough Test match and if we need points then Sam might have to use some of his trick shots. He is not a player you put shackles on. You just let him play his natural game."

Kayal Iro playing for the New Zealand Warriors under-20s in 2017.
Kayal Iro playing for the New Zealand Warriors under-20s in 2017. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

Iro, signed to the Warriors, has already tasted international football and has impressed Junior Kiwis coach Ezra Howe since arriving in camp.

"Kayal has already played an international this year for Cook Islands at fullback and is versatile. He can play centre or wing and could even go into the back row if need be," Howe said.

"He has got plenty of energy and plenty of effort. He played a bit of Canterbury Cup this year for the Warriors and went well.

"Kayal is not as big as his dad but he is very athletic and I think he definitely has the potential to get to the next level. It is just where he will nail down his position because even at the Warriors he has played multiple positions.

"Having watched him, I think he will be a centre. He is in that Gerard Beale mould where you could play him anywhere."

The Australian Schoolboys will be captained by lock forward Jackson Topine, an East Hills Boys High student.

"Jackson is a real leader who has an aura about him in the group," Adam said.

"He is just a competitor, a good talker on the field and he leads with his actions. Jackson is really team orientated with his approach and I just think he will lead from the front and everyone else will follow.

"Nothing  will faze him and irrespective of the challenge in front of him he remains very calm. He is with the Bulldogs and has played the majority of the season at the 20s level."

Canterbury Bulldogs under-20 forward Jackson Topine.
Canterbury Bulldogs under-20 forward Jackson Topine. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

The Junior Kiwis also have a quality skipper in Jordan Riki, who has shone at each level of his rugby league development.

"Jordan is in the Broncos system and he has a big future. He has played a lot of rep footy since he was 16 and played Junior Kiwis last year as a 17-year-old," Howe said.

"He has started in the back row for Norths Devils in the Intrust Super Cup but he will play lock in our team."

The Teams

AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLBOYS: 1. Reece Walsh, 2. Max Feagai, 3. Samuel Loizou, 4. Hamiso Tabuai, 5. Matthew Feagai, 6. Toby Sexton, 7. Sam Walker, 8. Jayden Clarkson, 9. Mitchell Black, 10. Lachlan Gale, 11. Brendan Piakura, 12. Jack Howarth, 13. Jackson Topine ©, 14. Tyler Field, 15. Cooper Talau, 16. Thomas Giles, 17. Trey Mooney.

JUNIOR KIWIS: 1. Starford Toa, 2. Asu Kepaoa, 3. Kayal Iro, 4. Vito Tevaga, 5. Selestino Ravutaumada, 6. Paul Turner, 7. Sione Moala, 8. Etuale Junior Lui Toeava, 9. Tyler Slade, 10. Griffin Neame, 11. Christian Tuipulotu, 12. Charbel Tasipale, 13. Jordan Riki ©, 14. Temple Kalepo, 15. Daniel Ticehurst, 16. Isaiah Vagana, 17. Junior Pua, 18. Christian Ma’anaima. 19. Emanuel Tuimavave-Gerrard. Coach – Ezra Howe.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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