St.Helens v Salford City Reds
ST.HELENS, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 9: A generic Rugby League ball during the engage Super League match between St.Helens and Salford City Reds at Knowsley Road on April 9, 2007 in St.Helens, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

He was recently named the Petero Civoniceva medallist and played a starring role in a losing side during Sunday's Queensland Cup grand final, but Wynnum Manly Seagulls hooker Jayden Berrell is still without an NRL contract.

Once a National Youth Cup star for the Brisbane Broncos, Berrell also represented the Queensland under-18 team in 2013 alongside Valentine Holmes, Jayden Nikorima, Joe Ofahengaue and Jai Arrow.

He then went on to be named in the NYC team of the year in 2015 alongside Tom Trbojevic, Joseph Manu, Josh Addo-Carr, Ashley Taylor, Viliame Kikau, Coen Hess and Tevita Pangai Junior, as well as Ofahengaue and Arrow. He also played for the Australian under-20s in the same year.

He was never able to break into the NRL though and has since found himself plying his trade for the Seagulls in the Queensland Cup.

An outstanding 2021 season has seen the rake score 12 tries in 18 appearances, his ball running out of dummy half setting the competition alive. He also has seven try assists, meaning he is going at more than an involvement per game.

He also has defended excellently in the middle third and taken his chances running the ball, averaging almost 80 metres per game.

He was named the competition's best player for the season, and almost turned it into a grand final victory for the Wynnum Manly Seagulls before eventually losing 16-10, coming up with 105 metres from 12 runs, a try assist and 45 tackles.

The 26-year-old may struggle to land an NRL deal now, but his experience could prove valuable when a 17th team enters the competition in 2023, allowing for another 30 spots in the competition.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls CEO Hanan Laban told The Courier Mail last week that he was in career best form.

“He has continued to develop his game in the Intrust Super Cup and I believe the past 12 months is the best footy he has played in his career,” Laban said.

“He has put a lot of effort into refining his game and is really seeing the benefits now.

“There are a number of examples of players who have spent time in the Intrust Super Cup, honing and refining their skills which prepares them for a career in the NRL,” he said.

“Jayden has the ability to contribute at the NRL level and I hope he receives an opportunity to do so.”