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26 Feb 2018 14:18
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Sharks size up NZ bolter Katoa

    Kiwi-born bolter Sione Katoa is expected to fill Cronulla's right wing spot when the Sharks line up for their NRL season season opener.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    He's been touted as possibly the fastest player to set foot in Cronulla and now greased-lightning winger Sione Katoa has emerged as a round one bolter.

    After blowing away coaching staff and teammates during the pre-season, the New Zealand-born and raised 20-year-old is the leading contender to fill the vacant right wing spot when the Sharks run out for their NRL season opener against North Queensland on March 9.

    Katoa leads an exciting crop of young talent in the Shire which includes coach Shane Flanagan's son Kyle, workaholic back-rower Billy Magoulis, centre Jesse Ramien and hooker Blayke Brailey, the younger brother of Sharks No.9 Jayden.

    The 20-year-old has spent the pre-season training outside Australian centre Josh Dugan and Flanagan said he was winning the three-way tussle with Aaron Gray and Edrick Lee for the wing position vacated by Warriors-bound Kiwi Gerard Beale.

    "He's a really good chance to start on the wing for round one," Flanagan told AAP.

    "He's had a really good off-season and handled everything we've thrown at him.

    "He's got some competition there with Aaron Gray and Edrick Lee but he's done a really good job. The trials will tell but he's got his nose in front."

    And after topping the National Youth Competition try-scoring list last year, the 180cm, 88kg speedster looks well poised to make the next step in 2018.

    Using GPS data, Sharks staff clocked Katoa at 9.69 metres per second during the pre-season.

    Flanagan said he was one of the quickest player he had ever seen at the club and was even out-pacing fullback Valentine Holmes.


    NZN




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