A total of 19 New South Wales players have been selected to be part of the National Gold Camp, kicking off early next month at the Southport School on the Gold Coast.
A collection of the best from academies across Australia will converge for the four-day camp, which will also feature standout players from the Australian Schools & U18’s.
Now in its second year, the National Gold Camp aligns with Rugby Australia’s National Talent Model seeing the top performers from the recent Junior (U16s) Rugby Championship brought into a high-performance environment as they seek higher honours.
It’s another strong showing for the NSW Gen Blue program, with the likes of Malachi Hawkes, Joshua Ikavalu Wong, Joe Brial and Thomas - Xavier Maka all featuring.
Training under the watchful eye of national coaches this group of players will have the opportunity to refine their skills and learn more about a professional rugby program.
Players will receive a range of off-field presentations from national medical staff, analysts, nutritionists as well the Rugby Union Players Association.
NSW Rugby Head of Talent Management, Andrew Cleverley said it was positive to see such a strong contingent of NSW based-players in the camp following the Junior Rugby Championships.
“To get good representation indicates the strength of rugby being played in schools and clubs across the state,” Cleverley said.
While Cleverley acknowledged the benefits of playing within a strong state system, players also learnt the lengths required to make it into professional ranks as part of the Gen Blue program.
“They’re starting to understand the importance of training in the gym, eating well, looking after their bodies – the pillars required to be a successful rugby player,” Cleverley added.
“Hopefully [the camp will give] the knowledge that they’re part of something bigger, and an understanding where they fit nationally.
“Learning more about their physical capabilities, prehab, rehab, injury management – things so important to the longevity of any rugby career.”
Cleverley said the camp would also provide insights into player development and specific areas of improvement.
“Analysing how they comparatively look against a current Super Rugby player in their position will allow them to create a tangible goal around what they need to make it as a professional – be it putting on weight, increasing speed off the mark or any key measurable on the pitch,” Cleverley said.
“The goal for them should be to play Super Rugby, our goal is to ensure they become a consistent Super Rugby player – this camp and our ongoing work [in Gen Blue] is all geared towards that.”
Following the camp players will return to NSW Rugby HQ at Daceyville across the Summer for an intensive program with the view of then joining Gen Blue U18s next year.
NSW will have two U18s teams participating nationally in 2020.
NSW Gen Blue representatives:
Miles E. Amatosero, Paddy Tagg, Malachi Hawkes, Jack Bowen, Joshua Ikuvalu Wong, Dally Bird, Ned Slack-Smith, Mitchell Robert Wheals, Terrell Kalokalo, Fritz Jahnke-Tavana, Matthew Chapman, Henry O'Donnell, Thomas - Xavier Maka, Hugh Bell, Ronald Volkman, Adrian Brown, Angus Websdale, Joe Brial, Jarrah McLeod