Zero Tackle takes a trip down memory lane, looking back at the Under-20s Canberra Raiders team that took home the very first Under-20s premiership in 2008.

Fifteen years on, the 17-man squad that emerged victorious in a golden-point win against the Brisbane Broncos features a multi-time international representative, a former Dally M Captain of the Year, a WWE wrestler and several players that couldn't crack it in the NRL.

Zero Tackle looks back at the career of all 17 players that helped the Raiders win the 2008 under-20 Premiership.

1. Josh Dugan

One of the most successful players from the team that won the Grand Final, Dugan played five seasons and 70 games for the Raiders, accumulating 123 points before leaving them for the Dragons and later the Cronulla Sharks.

His NRL career would include 365 points, 12 games for the NSW Blues and 12 Tests for the Kangaroos - becoming a dominant fullback and outside back. After announcing his retirement in 2021, he has been in the news due to repeated breaches of COVID-19 policies.

Remembered For: Playing in the representative arena for the NSW Blues in State of Origin and Australian in international Tests. He would make a combined 24 appearances for both during his career.

Last Played in the NRL2021

Played For: Canberra Raiders, St George Illawarra Dragons, Cronulla Sharks

NRL Games: 215 (365 points)

2. Drury Low

A Junior Kiwis winger, Low had an amazing 2008 Under-20s campaign and backed it up the following year by being selected in the 2019 Under-20s Team of the Year. However, he would never really live up to his potential in the NRL.

However, he was one of the first NRL players to represent the Cook Islands and paved the way for the likes of Esan Marsters and Kayal Iro. After leaving the NRL in 2014, he played alongside brother Ngarima Low at the Gungahlin Bulls in the Canberra Raiders Cup.

Remembered For: Being selected in the Under 20s

Last Played in the NRL2014

Played For: Canberra Raiders, Canterbury Bulldogs

NRL Games: 11 (24 points)

3. Jarrod Croker

Who would have expected Jarrod Croker to spend his entire career at the Canberra Raiders? The 2016 Dally M Captain of the Year, Croker, recently announced his retirement at the end of the 2023 season, becoming the last player in the Grand Final winning team to play in the NRL.

A Raidees legend, the centre is the club's top try scorer and highest point-scorer in their long history. He will likely be continually recognised as one of the best centres ever to don the Raiders jersey.

Remembered For: Winning Dally M Captain of the Year in 2016 and registering over 300 games for the club - the second player to do so in Raiders history.

Last Played in the NRL2023

Played For: Canberra Raiders

NRL Games: 307 (2374 points)

4. Daniel Vidot

A member of QLD's Under-17s team, Vidot was always going to be a special player. He showed moments of potential across his NRL career but would instead become a journeyman playing for four different NRL clubs. He represented Samoa in ten games.

Vidot surprisingly left rugby league at the end of 2017 to take on a developmental contract with wrestling promotion WWE. Here, he has appeared on shows such as NXT, Smackdown and Raw and competes under the rink name Xyon Quinn.

Remembered For: Becoming the first NRL player to make the successful transition to the sport of professional wrestling when he joined the WWE.

Last Played in the NRL124

Played For: Canberra Raiders, St George Illawarra Dragons, Brisbane Broncos, Salford Red Devils, Gold Coast Titans

NRL Games: 114 (220 points)

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 31: Daniel Vidot of the Raiders leaves the field after being sent to the sin-bin for fighting during the round 25 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Newcastle Knights at Canberra Stadium on August 31, 2009 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

5. Michael Brophy

Brophy was the only one of the outside backs to never play in the NRL. Instead, he left the club to play halfback for Tuggeranong in the Canberra Raiders Cup and became a player-coach at the club as of 2014.

Remembered For: Winning the 2008 Under-20s Grand Final with the Canberra Raiders

NRL Games: None

6. Michael Picker

Only playing a handful of NRL games, his junior talents never saw him make a mark at first-grade level. He retired from rugby league in 2014 and is reportedly self-employed in Crookwell, New South Wales.

Remembered For: Being the younger brother of Joe Picker. Joe Picker would manage 110 games for the Raiders from 2007 to 2013 and was a part of the Rabbitohs 2014 NRL Premiership squad.

Last Played in the NRL2011

Played For: Canberra Raiders

NRL Games: 4 (4 points)

7. Matt Smith

The halfback was a decent player at the club but never turned into a standout playmaker. After battling for a spot in the Souths Logan Magpies team, it is understood that he returned to play footy in the Brisbane Rugby League competition. However, this has not been confirmed.

Remembered For: Playing his junior footy at Wynnum Manly and being a member of the halves combination that helped lead the Raiders to the Under-20s Grand Final in 2008.

NRL Games: None

15. Andrew Edwards

Edwards never managed to appear in a single NRL game, but unlike others on this list, he continued playing football until reportedly announcing his retirement in 2017. During this time, he became a mainstay of the Souths Logan Magpies team - the feeder club of the Raiders.

Remembered For: Becoming a mainstay of the QLD Cup team Souths Logan Magpies from 2009 to 2017.

NRL Games: None

9. Travis Waddell

The hooker managed a 50-game milestone with the Raiders before the club promptly released him. Unfortunately, at the Knights and Broncos, he could never recapture the same form he had at the Raiders and would play 25 matches over the course of five seasons - this includes a stint away from NRL in 2015.

As of 2021, Waddell is playing in the TRL Premiership for Goondiwindi at the age of 34-years-old.

Remembered For: Playing for the Canberra Raiders, where he represented the Indigenous All Stars and was named in the Under-20s Team of the Year in 2009.

Last Played in the NRL: 2017

Played For: Canberra Raiders, Newcastle Knights, Brisbane Broncos

NRL Games: 78 Games (16 points)

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10. Nick Skinner

The front-rower spent four seasons playing for the Raiders feeder team, South Logan, after signing with the club in 2008 but struggled to break into the first-grade team. This would see him join the Manly Sea Eagles on a two-year contract at the start of the 2012 season, making his debut in Round 4 of 2012.

However, at the end of 2013, Skinner moved away from the NRL. Most recently, he was the captain-coach of the Southcity Bulls RLFC after returning to Group 9 Rugby League - a competition based in Wagga Wagga.

Remembered For: Captain and coaching Southcity Bulls RLFC to consecutive premiership wins in 2016 and 2017.

Last Played in the NRL2013

Played For: Manly Sea Eagles

NRL Games: 6 Games (4 points)

11. Jarrad Kennedy

Scoring the winning try in the Grand Final, Kennedy would wait four more years before making his NRL debut with the Raiders in 2012. After leaving the NRL, he would finish his playing career with Mount Prichard Mounties and Tuggeranong Bushrangers

Remembered For: Scoring the winning try in the Under-20s Grand Final against the Brisbane Broncos in golden-point.

Last Played in the NRL2017

Played For: Canberra Raiders, Manly Sea Eagles

NRL Games: 51 (20 points)

12. Zach Merritt

The workhorse would be chosen as the player-coach of the Group 10 premier league side Bathurst St Pat's. He would later remain as coach after his playing career came to an end.

Remembered For: Scoring a try in the Under-20s Grand Final against the Brisbane Broncos.

NRL Games: None

13. Shaun Fensom (C)

One of the more successful players from the team, Fensom, was a tackling machine for the Raiders from 2009-16, which saw him break Alan Tongue's record for most tackles in a season. Despite only playing 139 games for the club, he will be long-remembered by fans.

Remembered For: Winning the Mal Meninga Medal in 2011 and 2012 for the Canberra Raiders best first-grade player.

Last Played in the NRL: 2019

Played For: Canberra Raiders, North Queensland Cowboys, Brisbane Broncos

NRL Games: 176 (64 points)

14. Brock Dunn

Coming off the interchange bench due to a minor injury the week before, Dunn signed with the St George Illawarra Dragons to further his career but was unable to appear in a single NRL game.

Remembered For: Just making the 2008 Under-20s Grand Final team after suffering a minor injury the week before that saw him take a serious knock to his teeth.

Played For: Canberra Raiders, St George Illawarra Dragons

NRL Games: None

16. Justin Carney

Justin Carney's NRL debut couldn't have started any better, scoring a double in his debut against the Broncos in 2008. However, a broken leg would see him ruled out for the entirety of the next two seasons, just as he started to hit his strides.

This would see him make the move to the Sydney Roosters but struggled with consistency, only managing three tries in 16 games - then making the move overseas to the Super League. It would be a massive what-if for Raiders fans if he didn't succumb to injury early in his career.

Remembered For: Scoring 31 tries in 28 games for the Castleford Tigers in the 2013 and 2014 season and leading them to the 2014 Challenge Cup Final.

Last Played in the NRL2012

Played For: Canberra Raiders, Sydney Roosters, Castleford Tigers, Salford Red Devils, Hull Kingston Rovers

NRL Games: 37 (60 points)

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17. Todd Rheinberger

The powerful forward returned to bush football after struggling to make it in the NRL. He would go on to play with the Lavington Panthers, a cub that is based in Albury, New South Wales.

Remembered For: Being a talented sportsman in his younger years, which could have seen him play high-level cricket at one stage.

NRL Games: None

18. Levi Freeman

Despite never making it to the NRL, Freeman would continue to play rugby league for the Albury Thunder - a team that plays in the Group 9 Rugby League Competition. He would remain there until announcing his retirement in 2018 at the age of 29.

Remembered For: Being a member of the Raiders Under-20s Premiership squad in 2008.

NRL Games: None

Coach: Tony Adam

After guiding the Canberra Raiders to the Under-20s Premiership, he would move immediately to the Melbourne Storm the following season. He would later become the Australian Schoolboys coach.

Remembered For: Leading the Raiders to the 2008 Under 20s Premiership.

Other Players in the Squad

GLADSTONE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 08: Joel Thompson of Manly is tackled by Kevin Proctor of the Titans during the round five NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Manly Sea Eagles at Marley Brown Oval on April 8, 2018 in Gladstone, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Matthew Brit
Matthew Campbell
Diego Codrye
Jy Cockburn
Todd Grace
Kose Lelei
Tristan Reid
Matt Reis
Zac Russ
Dan Scanlan
Steve Naughton
- Last Played in the NRL2011
- Played For: Sydney Roosters
- NRL Games: 3 Games
Matt Stevens
Andrew Stott
James Stuart
- Last Played in the NRL2011
- Played For: Canberra Raiders
- NRL Games: 7 (0 points)
Joel Thompson
- Last Played in the NRL2020
- Played For: Canberra Raiders, St George Illawarra Dragons, Manly Sea Eagles, St Helens RLFC
- NRL Games: 235 (252 points)
Brendon Wheatley

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