The latest crop of rugby league players will get their shot at glory, after making the South Island representative squad.
Todd Moore, Tyler Edwards and Rakoia Dooley were all selected for the 30-man South Island squad, picked from an under-17 regional tournament last month where they represented the Tasman Titans.
The pathway from the under-17 South Island tournament to the national tournament was the same pathway that Marvin Curry used to secure a National Rugby League contract with Gold Coast Titans.
Titans under-17 coach Tomas Ogilvie says it is a steep learning curve for the players as there is no regular competition for them in Nelson.
“They have one tournament before heading to nationals where they will be playing in front of NRL scouts, so it’s a big jump.”
Tyler and Rakoia both attend Nelson College while Todd goes to Waimea College. All three play rugby union regularly and say getting used to rugby league has taken some adjustment
The Titans team was only pulled together weeks before the South Island tournament.
The Titans comfortably lost its first two games, against West Coast and Canterbury – two regions that play regular club league – before a narrow loss to Otago and a win over Southland.
All three said they enjoyed representing the region and are hoping to make the final cut before the national tournament. Tomas says that will involve a lot of work.
“Most of the players selected in the squad are from Christchurch so will be training together during the week. Our guys have to train here so I’m taking them for a few sessions just to keep them fit and keep the skills up.”
Tomas says their selection shows there is a pathway for young rugby league players in Nelson.
“It shows that if you take your opportunities you can make it.”
He also wanted to thank the businesses and supporters who allowed the Titans to travel to the tournament.