If you’re a young player that’s ever dreamed of ‘making it’ as a professional rugby league player, St Peter’s School in Cambridge was the place to be today.
The best 16s and 18s players in the country were lucky enough to be coached by Kiwis Assistant Coaches Ben Gardiner and Nathan Cayless in a series of field sessions on day two, in preparation for the final day of trials on Friday. Hookers and halves started their day with a video analysis session run by Ben Gardiner. There, they were challenged, questioned and tested on the role of a half and hooker, and their key duties within a game scenario were established.
That information was then put into practice on the field, as Gardiner and Cayless took the players through a number of skills and drills to hone their technique in their position of choice.
After the mahi was done out in the sun, players heard from Brisbane Broncos Game Development Manager, Paul Dyer, and Elite Player Development Manager, Simon Scanlan, about personal brand and how it can help or harm their careers. Former Kiwi, Paul Whatuira then spoke to the players about mental health and the way he navigated mental illness throughout his journey in professional rugby league.
The rest of the day was dedicated to preparations for trials on Friday. 18s players will be split into two teams, Team Wiki and Team Lauititi and 16s players, Team Fisher-Harris and Team Papali’i, as they take each other on, in attempts to impress NZ 16s and 18s selectors.
Final Day Trials – Friday, 25 January 2019
16s Trial – 10am
18s Trial – 12pm