From left: Deishanelle Emani, Aaron Kurnoth and Tristyn Blaney

The U15 Titans boy’s rugby league team is impressing their interstate rivals and tempting talent scouts at the Secondary Schools Rugby League Championship in Mackay this week.

Players travelled from Katherine and Alice Springs to take part in the competition and the “boys from the bush” are showcasing their Territory talent to the rest of Australia.

After drawing their first game against South Australia on Sunday, Titans coach Dylan Murray said the team is “gelling well”.

“There was a little adjustment for them as it is such a long distance to travel, but they have been performing well with the rest of the team,” Murray said.

For Katherine player Tristyn Blaney an event like this is a once in a life time opportunity.

“When you come from a town like Katherine where you don’t have many scouts watching out for you, this is a big step and a great opportunity to show people I can play football,” Tristyn said.

Chosen from a pool of roughly 60-80 players, the U15 boys endured eight weeks of gruelling, intensive training, where their squad of 25 dropped to an even smaller 20 who will get to represent their state in next week’s games.

Aaron Kurnoth from Darwin and Deishanelle Emani from Alice Springs are excited by the possibility of being scouted by a professional team to pursue their NRL dreams.

Joking around with each other they laughed at how the “boys from the bush” have more to offer Australia than anyone expects.

“This is a great opportunity for our career and if we play our top game of rugby we can show the rest of Australia that the NT has a high standard of talent,” said Aaron.

“Playing representative gives you a higher chance of being noticed by a team scout – this is my fourth representative game and I’m excited to get out there and play rugby.”

“Making the representative teams means that we have the talent, now we just need to go play rugby and show the rest of Australia what NT’s got,” Tristan agreed.

The boys are all excited to travel interstate and recognise the competition is a gateway to more opportunities to get scouted in the future as they pursue their goal of being professional NRL players.

“I have extended family in the area who will be watching as well as any talent scouts,” Deishanelle said.

“After this competition you can get selected for the Combined Affiliated States  (CAS) representative team and play against more teams in Australia,” Aaron said. “Having your name in so many representative teams tells people to look out for you- that you’ve got what it takes to play rugby professionally.”

Over the past few years the NT’s reputation for producing talented NRL players has been increasing with two boys selected from last year’s squad to play for teams down south.

Titans coach Dylan Murray says this competition is an important step for players looking for a professional career in NRL and is a confidence boost to young players, giving them direction in their training to achieve this goal.

“This trip allows young players to talk with professionals and watch those in the division above them [Pull A] play – showing them the level they need to work towards.” Murray said.

“They develop skills in playing high pressure games and get experience in representing the best of their state against other state representatives.”

The Titans have a day off on Tuesday before gearing up to play against Western Australia on Wednesday.


For further queries, please contact:

Nigel Roy

P: 0410 346 101

E: nroy@nrl.com.au


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