Kelly, Walker likely names in Titans’ Auckland Nines squad
NORTHERN Rivers rugby league players Brian Kelly and Shannon Walker are likely to be included in the Gold Coast Titans squad for the Auckland Nines next month.
Kelly is a Ballina junior and has been a standout in the Titans’ under-20s side since he left Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League after winning a premiership with the Seagulls in 2013.
He scored four tries for New South Wales when they beat Queensland in the under-20 State of Origin curtain-raiser at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane last year.
Marist Brothers junior and Titans winger David Mead has predicted big things for Kelly.
“Brian Kelly is an exciting young talent. It’s hard to believe he has another year in the 20s with the way he approaches training,” Mead said on the Titans website.
“He has had a really good pre-season with us.
“He moves really well with the footy in his hand. He’s unpredictable and I’m looking forward to playing with him.”
Walker has been back training with the Titans on a trial basis since November.
The Nines format would suit the Kyogle product after four years travelling the world with the Australian Rugby Sevens team.
He played a handful of NRL games before signing with Australian Rugby Union in 2011.
Titans five-eighth Daniel Mortimer expects both players to be in the Nines squad.
“I think Brian Kelly and Shannon Walker could be two players to look for if they are in the team,” Mortimer said on the Titans website.
“They’re both pretty quick and good on their feet.”
If Walker picks up a contract for 2016 there would be plenty of Northern Rivers talent at the Titans this season.
Ballina junior Tyrone Roberts has made the switch from Newcastle and is likely to play halfback while Anthony Don and Luke Douglas should be in the top 17.
Meanwhile, Kelly and Roberts will be in Ballina today as part of a Titans community visit.
The pair will be back where they were students at Ballina Public School in the morning before an open training session with the team at Kingsford Smith Park at 3pm.