Willie Mason has hailed Jake Trbojevic as a representative star of the future following the young prop’s impressive start to his NRL career.
Trbojevic made his debut from the bench in Sea Eagles’ final round match against Penrith in 2013, but missed all of last season with a leg injury.
The 21-year-old former Australian Schoolboy has developed quickly this season to play in 15 of Manly’s 16 games ahead of Monday night’s round 19 match against North Queensland at Brookvale Oval, and Mason likes what he sees.
“He will be a rep footballer one day,” former Australia and NSW representative Mason said of Trbojevic.
“He has all the attributes, he is very fit, he has all the one percenters covered you see young 20s kids really struggle with when they come through that system.
“He has been coached well when he was young, he has come up into grade and he hasn’t missed a beat.
“He hits hard, I saw that a bit in the pre-season but have seen him go full tilt this year, and his wrestling and tackle technique is second to none, he is probably one of the strongest blokes I have ever wrestled with.”
Trbojevic’s younger brother, Tom, is also set to be a star of the future after making his NRL debut for Manly earlier this year.
Mason, who has played 281 NRL games and is keen to play on into his 17th season next year, said one of Jake’s best attributes is his ability to listen.
“He has all the skills, he has the skills of a halfback, I haven’t got a big enough wrap on him he is such a great kid,” Mason said.
“He takes everything in. He is like a sponge, he is always asking heaps of questions.”