Rugby league academy trials a huge hit

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Step up: The South West Sydney Academy of Sport trials turnout highlighted the need for quality, junior rugby league development opportunities.

The 2015 South West Sydney Academy of Sport junior rugby league development trials were a huge success despite a drop in participation levels in the past couple of years.

Academy CEO Gerry Knights said the venue for the trials, Benham Reserve, Minto was a scene reminiscent of grand final day.

“We had a huge crowd on hand on Monday to watch more than 200 talent identified young players trialling for the South West Sydney Academy of Sport under 14 and under 15 summer development squads,’’ Mr Knights said.

As part of the talent identification process, local clubs identified and named their top 10 players in each age group to attend the trials.

Following the trials the Academy inducted the top 30 players in each age group into its development program.

Wests Tigers recruitment manager Warren McDonnell led a selection panel that included representatives of the Wests Magpies, Western Suburbs District junior rugby league as well as the head coach of the academy.

The final selections were made following video analysis of the evening’s five games by the selection panel.

Mr Knights said that while local junior participation numbers have been down over the past two years the support provided to the Academy by the NSW Rugby League and Wests Tigers in the area of junior development has continued to be “exceptional’’.

“And at the trials, the assistance of the home club the Minto Cobras, the selection panel, SWSAS staff and the five attending NRL development officers was outstanding,’’ he said.

“And although large in number, the trials went off without a hitch,’’ Mr Knights said.

He said he was also pleased to see the Wests Tigers newly appointed NRL football operations manager Tyrone Collins in attendance, and praised the club for its appointment of a man passionate for the area and the game.

[social_quote duplicate=”no” align=”default”]“Hopefully we can find another local Jarryd Hayne or Israel Folau, who may take his first representative steps through programs such as the Academy’s summer development program, and move through local representative teams to the world stage.’’[/social_quote]

♦ For information on Academy corporate sponsorship opportunities and programs, visit or telephone 4627 7622.






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