News South Wales Rugby League have announced the NSW Cup has Team of the Year based on the 2023 season, one day before the Grand Final between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and North Sydney Bears.

After signing a development contract with the Panthers' first-grade side for next season that will keep him at the club until the end of 2026, Isaiah Iongi has been named in the number one jersey.

Set to learn off the likes of Dylan Edwards, Sunia Turuva, and Brian To'o, his potential is out of the roof, and he could be the next big star out of the Panthers pathways system, having already represented Queensland in the U19s State of Origin.

Clayton Faulalo and Fetalaiga Pauga have been named on the wings. Faulalo scored 29 tries in 24 games for the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles and also made 69 tackle breaks, 29 line breaks, and four try assists.

While he is relatively unknown to rugby league fans, Fetalaiga Pauga made a name for himself with the Sydney Roosters this season. Signing on from the Wests Tigers, he played nine games and scored three tries in the NRL, including appearances in the two finals matches against the Cronulla Sharks and Melbourne Storm.

Ali Leiataua and Kayal Iro will fill the remaining outside back spots. Iro is coming off a breakout season in 2022, where he claimed the NSW Cup Player of the Year and has continued his form this season as he looks to cement a spot in the NRL team.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: Dean Hawkins of Souths kicks the ball during the NRL trial match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Penrith Panthers at Redfern Oval on February 23, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Jesse Marschke and 2023 NSW Cup Player of the Year Dean Hawkins have been named in the halves and will take on each other on Sunday, with one walking away with the title.

Hawkins' teammate Peter Mamouzelos rounds out the spine and has played the majority of the season in the competition whilst also playing second-fiddler to NSW Blues star Damien Cook as the Rabbitohs' NRL dummy-half.

The forward pack is intimidating in itself, the front row consisting of Liam Henry, who is building towards becoming a permanent member of Penrith's NRL side, and Trey Mooney, who is likely to be a regular in the Canberra NRL team next season.

The remaining three forwards named in the team are Clay Webb (Canberra Raiders), Kalani Going (New Zealand Warriors) and Zach Dockar-Clay (North Sydney Bears).

NRL Trial Match - Sea Eagles v Raiders
GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 25: Trey Mooney of the Raiders looks on during the NRL Trial Match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Canberra Raiders at Central Coast Stadium on February 25, 2022 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

NSW Cup Team of the Year

1. Isaiah Iongi (Penrith Panthers)
2. Clayton Faulalo (Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles)
3. Kayal Iro (Newtown Jets)
4. Ali Leiataua (New Zealand Warriors)
5. Fetalaiga Pauga (North Sydney Bears)
6. Jesse Marschke (North Sydney Bears)
7. Dean Hawkins [c] (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
8. Liam Henry (Penrith Panthers)
9. Peter Mamouzelos (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
10. Trey Mooney (Canberra Raiders)
11. Clay Webb (Canberra Raiders)
12. Kalani Going (New Zealand Warriors)
13. Zach Dockay-Clay (North Sydney Bears)