We’ve all heard of Joey and Matthew, the Newcastle brothers that defined the Knights’ golden era. Now, over a decade since we last saw a member of the Johns’ clan in the NRL, we’re on the verge of a new wave of brothers set for NRL berths.
With the Perth Nines finally upon us, not only is it a much-needed return of football for long-awaiting fans, but it gives us a chance to see a host of uncapped players lay claims for an NRL debut on the big stage.
Among them? Two brothers that go by Jack and Cooper Johns.
Also known as – Matty John’ sons.
There has been some quiet chatter about the two since Jack burst onto the scene with the Knights’ Holden Cup team in 2017, while Cooper has been plying his trade in Queensland Cup.
Originally a five-eighth like his father, Jack has developed into a handy back-rower who starred for South Sydney’s reserve grade side in 2019.
While it’s the likes of Damien Cook, Cameron Murray and Dane Gagai that catches South Sydney fans’ attention heading into the tournament, it’s Johns that has a point to prove.
The retirement of John Sutton and Sam Burgess leaves gaping holes in the second-row for the Bunnies, though with Johns’ increasing frame and ball-playing ability, he could certainly help fill a void.
While he’s currently on a development contract and not in the club’s Top 30 squad, the departure of Adam Doueihi not only means the Rabbitohs have two roster spots vacant, but they’re crying out for a bench utility. Enter Jack.
Cooper on the other hand, is part of an NRL club’s Top 30. The Melbourne Storm’s.
While Jack has the big frame, Cooper is your out-and-out halfback, who’s been lighting it up for the Sunshine Coast Falcons as part of the Storm’s feeder system.
Blessed with a great knowledge of the game and the game management to match, Cooper has been floated as a potential Round 1 bolter for the first-grade halfback position, with Jahrome Hughes still adjusting to the role.
At 20 years old, Coop is still coming into his own, however still managed to notch 19 try-assists in 19 games of Queensland Cup last season.
Both brothers have been included in their respective team’s squads for the Nines tournament, and will not only look to take the trophy home with them, but lock down a first-grade spot in the process.