Day one of the NZRL National Talent Development Programme saw the best 80 youngsters in New Zealand arrive at St Peter’s School in Cambridge ready to find out exactly what it takes to make it as a professional footy player, both on and off the field.
Following a welcome and briefing from NZRL National Talent Manager, David McMeeken, Kiwi #692 Jerry Seuseu took the New Zealand 16s and 18s hopefuls through the NRL Careerwise workshop which encourages players to plan for life after rugby league. Whether it’s the trades or studying at University that is most appealing, the key message was ‘if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.’
Kiwi #783 Ben Henry also educated the players about the seriousness of concussion and how to deal with concussion if either themselves or their teammates receive a head knock on the field.
The players were then able to get into their on-field game tactics with coaches, before taking to the field in their first training session of the camp. It was clear they were trying to put their best foot forward knowing their work ethic, attitude and performance would be on display for the selectors of the New Zealand 16s and 18s teams.
After dinner and a debrief, players rest up in preparation for tomorrow’s specialist coaching sessions where Kiwis Assistant Coaches Ben Gardiner and Nathan Cayless, as well as Paul Dyer and Greg Boulous will take them through their paces. There will be a specific focus on developing halves and hookers while enhancing their attack and defence skill sets.