Off-season Central, Jahream Bula, Daine Laurie, Charlie Staines, Wests Tigers, Tim Sheen, fullback battle

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Tigers coach Tim Sheens has tipped young gun Jahream Bula to challenge for the No.1 jersey in a three-way battle with incumbent Daine Laurie and star recruit Charlie Staines.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Sheens believes Bula can leapfrog Laurie, who has also been training in the halves and Staines, who is also being considered as a winger at some stage during the 2023 season.

“Jahream Bula will be a kid who comes out of nowhere,” Sheens told The Herald.

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“Daine has been training at halfback and fullback, ‘Stainesy’ at fullback and wing, but this kid has been playing fullback all year in the second team. And he has been the best trainer at the club.

“I’m not afraid to throw blokes in, and if they’re good enough they’re old enough.”

A product of the famous rugby league nursery Keebra Park State High, Bula was discovered by the Titans back in 2019.

As a 17-year-old Keebra Park student, Bula was spotted after just two games for the renowned nursery’s top rugby league side in 2019 after a season spent mostly in the B team.

Before that he was a budding basketball player. He joined the Tigers this year and impressed the Tigers’ coaching staff with his efforts in Jersey Flegg.


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Jahream Bula during his days at Keebra Park high school. Picture: Glenn HampsonSource: News Corp Australia

Keebra Park high school is a rugby league nursery that has produced some of the NRL’s biggest and best names, including Tigers legend and current assistant coach Benji Marshall.

During his stint with the Titans Bula told The Gold Coast Bulletin his upbringing in basketball had fast-tracked his rugby league career.

“Basketball has really helped my rugby league, with the jumping and catching and footwork,” Bula told The Gold Coast Bulletin.

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Daine Laurie has been training at halfback and fullback.Source: Getty Images

“Basketballers need good court vision and I find that helps me read defences too.”

Junior Titans System coach Jamie McCormack knew Bula’s athletic base and size at just 17 years of age would bode well for future success.

“Sometimes when we do junior recruitment and talent scouting it’s great to keep an eye out for genuine athletes,” McCormack said.

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Tigers recruit Charlie Staines has been training at fullback and wing.Source: Getty Images

“Whatever skills they may be deficient in, that’s our job to make sure they improve.

“Jahream is just an athlete – for an outside back coming from a basketball background, the ability to jump high in the air and catch balls above his head (is helpful).

“His athletic ability and power base to get high off the ground gets him into try-scoring situations.”

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