REWARDED: Broncos under-20s star Joe Ofahengaue, with niece Lisia, has been selected for the Junior Kangaroos.
REWARDED: Broncos under-20s star Joe Ofahengaue, with niece Lisia, has been selected for the Junior Kangaroos. David Nielsen

Broncos under-20 star to answer the call of Junior Kangaroos

BRONCOS under-20s star Joe Ofahengaue has capped a superb rugby league season by gaining selection in the Junior Kangaroos side.

The 19-year-old prop, who lives in Collingwood Park, played in the Holden Cup grand final on Sunday where the Warriors defeated a gallant Broncos 34-32.

Ofahengaue was a major factor in the Broncos' second-half resurgence where they fought back from a 34-6 deficit.

The former St Peter Claver College star finished the grand final full of running with typically robust charges and skilful offloads, but the Broncos paid the price for poor completions in the first half.

Ofahengaue will go into camp with the Junior Kangaroos on Friday. The side will play the Junior Kiwis on October 18 at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.

Ofahengaue has a huge future ahead of him and Broncos under-20s coach Craig Hodges said he fully deserved his rep selection.

"It is fantastic for him," Hodges said.

"Joe's development and progress has been really pleasing.

"From a club point of view, we are very proud of him.

"Joe has come a real long way for us in the two years that we have had him.

"Last year he filled in for us at centre and came off the bench a bit, but he has been the cornerstone of our pack this year."

Ofahengaue has a burning desire to play NRL in the near future and Hodges said he was "heading in the right direction".

"He is in the right position to give himself an opportunity to play (NRL) if he keeps going the way he is going.

"Joe is an effort player. He has got a really good work rate and work ethic…in defence and attack. He plays big minutes and he has been blessed with the ability to hold his condition.

"He is very fit for a big man. All those things will help him progress."



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