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Canteen Worker

First Grader
Does Anyone know anything about the following players named in the Rockhampton trial this weekend???

Kyle Arnold,Todd Barrow, Sione Finefeuiaki, Conrad Ta'akimoeaka.

Most of the others mentioned have played for Manly or are known to us (Jason Wells, Willie Bishop etc)

Any info or profiles would be appreciated.


Kyle Arnold

In a league of his own

HUGE POTENTIAL: ABCD Kyle Arnold getting ready for Rugby League training in the locker room of HMAS Waterhen.

Navy Clearance Diver AB Kyle Arnold is a rugged front-rower who is considered by legends of rugby league to be in a league of his own.

AB Arnold, who is based at HMAS Waterhen as a Navy Clearance Diver (AUSTCDT1), has the potential to reach the dizzy heights of rugby league stardom.

AB Arnold, 24, is currently the captain of the North Sydney Bears Premier League team that serves as the feeder club for the Melbourne Storm first grade league team.

The rugged front-rower is also the corner-stone of the scrum for the Australian Combined Services team and the Navy team.

It’s a tribute to AB Arnold’s talent that after only a handful of games in the past two years that he has represented the ADF in rugby league and is in-line for first grade selection with the Melbourne Storm should their front-rowers suffer injury.

AB Arnold’s selection to play for the ADF team after appearing in only one game for Navy in the national tournament speaks volumes about his ability as a rugby league player.

The rugged front-rower played for the Australian Combined Services team that beat their Kiwi counterparts 28-0 in the curtain raiser to the Anzac Rugby League Test played at Suncorp Stadium in April.

Former league internationals Gary Freeman and Greg Florimo told Navy News that AB Arnold is a player of HUGE potential.

‘Huge’ just happens to be AB Arnold’s nickname which well reflects his enormous physical build. The tear-away front-rower stands 192cm and weighs 105kg.

“Kyle only joined us this year and already he had had a huge impact for the team,” said Gary Freeman, the former Kiwi international and the current coach of the North Sydney Bears.

Coach Freeman said AB Arnold’s role as a player who inspired his team-mates but intimidated the opposition are the reasons he was elevated to captain midway through the season after only a hand full of games.

“Kyle came to us as an complete unknown at the start of the season but his talent as a player and his on-field leadership have seen him emerge as one of our best players.

“Kyle is everything I want in a captain and front-rower. I expect him to lead the North Sydney Bears into the play-offs in the coming weeks.”

AB Arnold said he loves playing league – whether it be for the North Sydney Bears, the Navy team or the Australian Combined Service teams.

“I love playing rugby league and want to test my ability at the highest level to see if I have what it takes,” Kyle said.

Tpdd Barrow

TODD Barrow is prepared to bide his time behind Manly's three representative back rowers if it leads to a shot in the National Rugby League down the track.

After linking with the Sea Eagles in November, Barrow is now training full-time with Manly's top squad.

But with Steve Menzies, Ben Kennedy and Anthony Watmough established top graders, Western Division lock Barrow knows chances could be slim this year.

"It's more a building year for me," said Barrow, who was the Group 10 leading point-scorer last year.

"I just want to learn as much as I can from the senior players."

Barrow played in the centres when he played Jersey Flegg with Balmain Tigers in 2003-04, but will be used in the back row at Manly.

"They said they're looking for a back rower with a bit of speed who can play the full 80 minutes," Barrow said.

"I've already put some weight on and have never been this fit before."

The 21-year-old returned to Orange in 2004 after injury hampered his second season with the Tigers, but wants to make the most of a second chance.

But Barrow does not want to get too far ahead of himself despite training with the likes of Matt Orford and Steve Bell at the Sea Eagles.

"I'd love to play first grade, but that's not really the aim this year," he said. "My goal is to cement a spot in the premier league starting team.

"I can't get ahead of myself. I have to prove myself in premier league before anything else."

Barrow suffered a pectoral muscle injury during a weights session in December, but was cleared to resume training when the Sea Eagles returned to pre-season training last week.

Former Hawks halfback James Mortimer is training with Manly's premier league side, while fullback Tim Mortimer and five-eighth Josh Nixon are with the Jersey Flegg outfit.

Sione Finefeuiaki

IT DIDN'T take long for Matt "The Ox" Orford to realise he had met his match.

For the past few seasons Orford, the diminutive but deceptively powerful Melbourne halfback, has worn the tag of the Storm's strongest man.

At just 78kg, Orford could outmuscle most of his teammates. His bench-press record stood at an impressive 150kg.

It took Sione Finefeuiaki just two lifts to rearrange the pecking order.

Storm's new forward signing has "officially" benched 200kg, but teammates have no doubt the big man is foxing.

They believe he will begin to be tested only at 220kg.
"I don't know where my strength comes from. It has always been there," a grinning Finefeuiaki said yesterday.
"Maybe it is all the good islander food."

Finefeuiaki is an exciting prospect.
Born in Tonga, the 23-year-old started his rugby league career only four years ago.

Formerly a weekend rugby union player, he was talked into playing rugby league by his cousin in Auckland.
Finefeuiaki was signed by the Sydney Roosters after just one season in New Zealand.

"Back then I was about 105kg and the Roosters signed me as a winger," Finefeuiaki said.

"It was my second season in rugby league and I didn't really understand the game."

A knee injury halted Finefeuiaki's progress, and he was sent home to Auckland to recover.

When he returned to the football field, he had bulked up to 114kg and was shifted to the forwards.

It was there that he was spied by Storm scouts, who offered the youngster an opportunity to return to Australia to pursue his NRL dream.

"It was like a second chance for me," Finefeuiaki said.
"It has been a great off-season, and I am feeling really good.

"They are a great bunch of blokes here and they train very hard. I can't wait to play with them."

Finefeuiaki's stint with Storm has not been without its share of drama.

Before Christmas he was forced to return to New Zealand for a month while an issue with his Australian visa was resolved.

It put Finefeuiaki a bit behind some of his rivals for a spot in Storm's top squad, but he has worked hard to make up for lost time.

"I'm here because I want to play in the first-grade team," Finefeuiaki said.
"I want to show what I can do."

Finefeuiaki will get his first opportunity on Saturday night when he lines up for Storm against Queensland Cup side Tweed Heads in Noosa.

Signed to an incentive based contract, Storm officials are confident that Finefeuiaki has what it takes to make it in the NRL.

"Sione certainly has that 'wow' factor," Storm executive director John Ribot said.

"He is still a bit rough around the edges, but he is keen and he is the kind of guy worth investing some time in."

Conrad Ta'akimoeaka

Apparantly is a mate of Steve Mattai's.

Canteen Worker

First Grader
Sensational Tookey. Great reading and it gives one hope that a couple of these guys could be the real deal.

I look forward to hearing how the boys go on the weekend.

Helps keep this site up to date and informative for the Manly supporter.


Journey Man
If arnold is a clearance diver then he should have the mental toughness required, those guys are pretty nutz.


Conrad Ta'akimoeaka is a bit of a mystery player at the moment and I don't even know what positon he plays. {Perhaps Fonz might be able to provide some info on him about position, size etc?

Jatz Crackers

First Grader
Great stuff. Thanks for posting that info tookey. :clap:

I always find the dark horses and up & coming talents a gem to read about.

My left Jatz for a prop who just wont be grassed. Maybe it will be Sione Alphabet or his brother Conrad Alphabet. You never know your luck in gods country.

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