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Averillo's rise through the junior ranks

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs focus on development and pathways was again on show last weekend when Jake Averillo made his debut for the club’s Canterbury Cup side.

Averillo was a late inclusion into the reserve grade side after spending the entire season playing with the David Penna coached Jersey Flegg team.

Wearing jersey 21, the talented outside back played in the centres and scored a try in an impressive debut against Mounties on the day he turned 19.

A local junior and a product of the Moorebank Rams club, Averillo can play in the halves, fullback or centres and has been a member of the club's development and pathway programs since 2016, as well as spending two years with the Bulldogs Youth High Performance Program.

Signed until the end of 2020, Jake was a member of the club's SG Ball side that was defeated by the Penrith Panthers in the final last year and scored eight tries and kicked 53 goals during the season.

Following the completion of the SG Ball competition, Jake was elevated to the club's Jersey Flegg side where he played three games before picking up an ankle injury in round 17 that ended his season.

A first year under 20s player in 2019, Averillo has been outstanding for the Flegg side whether it be in the centres or the halves and has delivered 52 tackle breaks, 4 try assists, 7 line-break assists, 5 line-breaks, 6 tries and 130 points to date.

The goal-kicking rookie was schooled at Westfields Sports High and featured in the 2016 schoolboy side who claimed the National GIP Cup with a 26-24 win over Keebra Park.

The match featured fellow Bulldogs teammates Brandon Wakeham and Connelly Lemelu, as well as Broncos forward Payne Hass and in one of the best schoolboy games of the past decade, Westfields scored two tries in the final four minutes to snatch victory with Jake Averillo scoring the match winner with 30 seconds to go.

His rise amongst the grades has impressed many at Canterbury and if he continues to keep working hard on his game and performing, he will get a taste of an NRL pre-season in the not too distant future.

“Jake is a great talent, a player of great awareness who is always pushing around the ball and that makes him one of those players that find the try line consistently. This was highlighted in the Canterbury Cup match on the weekend. I believe with more time up in the higher grade adapting to the physical demands of the game and defence, Jake will make a smooth transition to be part of the NRL squad in the future,” said Pathways and Development Manager Dave Hamilton.

Away from the field, the 19-year old has completed his Cert III in fitness and has started his Cert IV in fitness, as well as being a teacher’s aide at Lansvale Public School.