Six Tackles: Under the radar Poms in Oz

Since his move to New Zealand Warriors was announced last year, Sam Tomkins‘ every move has been followed avidly by fans from both the southern and northern hemisphere.

His international teammates James Graham and Gareth Widdop, as well as the four Burgess brothers, already play their football with distinction Down Under.

Tomkins’ old Wigan teammate Lee Mossop, and ex-Warrington prop Mike Cooper are two of the other big names to have made the move across the globe, but in recent years there have also been some less publicised Poms making the grade in Oz.

Jordan Baldwinson

Still only 19, Baldwinson did enough during his time at Leeds to impress NRL side New Zealand Warriors.

The loose forward rejected the chance to renew with the Rhinos, and after making his Super League debut against Widnes, he agreed a deal with the Warriors.

Baldwinson is a former England under-18’s captain and he is part of the club’s Holden Cup side, under coach Stacey Jones.

James Hasson

Prop Hasson rose to prominence for British audiences when he played for Ireland in last year’s World Cup.

The 21-year-old plays for Manly in the NRL, and although he has lived in Sydney since the age of two, he was actually born in the London Borough of Hillingdon.

Hasson’s Irish family ties meant he was passionate to represent the Wolfhounds, and he looks set to become one of their key players in the future.

Tyrone McCarthy

Although he is another player considered to be Irish by most in rugby league, those who are familiar with McCarthy know that he is Warrington through-and-through.

Now 25, the Wolfhounds vice-captain has left his home town and swapped the north of England for Queensland, where he plays for Northern Pride.

The Cairns-based club, who were the 2012 Intrust Super Cup minor premiers, are coached by former Super League favourite Jason Demetriou.

Carlo Napolitano

Briefly a City Reds player in the 1990’s, Napolitano grew up in Salford and played at junior level with Eccles alongside Adrian Morley and Nathan McAvoy.

When Morley moved to Sydney Roosters, English-Italian Napolitano began coaching in Queensland.

After earning Italy caps as a player, he then became involved with the Federazione Italiana Rugby League (FIRL), as a technical director and also as head coach of the Azzurri.

He oversaw qualification for the 2013 World Cup and the pre-tournament upset win over England, before Italy bowed out in the group stage after a credible record of a win, a draw, and a loss.

Napolitano has since stepped down from his roles within Italian rugby league.

Curtis Naughton

Born in Dewsbury (the home of the Burgess’), full-back Naughton started his professional career with Bradford and signed a three-year contract with them in November 2012.

After making his debut in the final game of 2013 against Huddersfield, he was then whisked off to Sydney by reigning NRL champions the Roosters, for whom the 18-year-old is yet to make his debut.

Mason Tonks

Tonks moved alongside Baldwinson from Leeds to New Zealand Warriors at the end of last season, although the second-rower had not made a Super League appearance.

The 19-year-old was born in Castleford and played junior rugby league for Normanton Knights.

Tonks is under contract with the Warriors until the end of the season, with an option for extension.

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