The Academy are players embarking on their Tour of Australia in just a few weeks’ time.
And as part of the build-up they had their shirts presented to them last weekend.
Player Performance Manager Neil Kilshaw explains why the night is very important:
This fantastic evening sits right at the end of our preparations and is a lovely opportunity for the players, staff and their families celebrate their selection, congratulate themselves for their fundraising efforts and importantly start to light the flames of excitement!
As is tradition, two former tourists in Morgan Knowles and Danny Richardson came along to present the shirts to the players and offered some tips of what to expect in the coming weeks!
2017 will be the seventh instalment of our Academy tours since 2004.
In fundraising for so many tours the support of the local community has been a constant, and without that backing we wouldn’t have made that first trip let alone six more.
Our tours sit as important part in the development of our talented players and we can proudly lay claim to still being the only club, English or Australian, to undertake them.
22 days, 22 players and four games is the equation. Games against Canterbury Bulldogs, Central Coast, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Penrith Panthers will provide a stern test for the squad in what promises to be a trip of a lifetime.
Accompanying them will be a strong team of coaches with a wealth of touring experience, plus three new faces. Amongst the staff we have club legend Eric Chisnall, who along with Derek Traynor and Mike Rush has been a touring ever present, and Reserve team coach Ian Talbot.
We also have three invaluable volunteers in Derek Hardman, Ste Marsh and Shaun Ryan who coach every week on the club’s scholarship programme, and work tirelessly to help identify and recruit players into the club at the age of 14.
Over the past 15-years the club’s performance department has been well backed by the Board of Directors and we can proudly claim to be the only club rated as Outstanding in all areas for every independent accreditation.
Australia tours sit outside this assessment process and are a massive addition to our development programmes. Through the tours that have gone before we have a strong reputation in Australia and we are well aware that they lie in wait!
I am certain that our standing in the game will be enhanced even further with the fine group of young men that are about to represent our great club. It’s an exciting time for the whole squad and the players not only represent the professional club but also their schools, their community clubs and the wider sport of Rugby League.
We have prepared well as training has intensified over the last eight weeks and it’s safe to say the lads are chomping at the bit to get stuck in.
Fixtures (local time):
- Game 1 v Canterbury – Sat October 14, 5pm
- Game 2 v Central Coast – Weds Oct 18, 6pm
- Game 3 v South Sydney – Sun Oct 22, 6pm
- Game 4 v Penrith – Sat Oct 28, 6pm