The New Zealand Rugby League National Secondary Schools Tournament has received immense interest from Australian scouts with all 16 NRL clubs looking for the next star, which means a lot more opportunity for young Māori.
Scout, Peter Mulholland says, “It's put on for the benefits of not only the schoolboys but the recruitment managers because all the talent is in one spot.”
The New Zealand Rugby League National Secondary Schools Tournament is in full swing this week, with all sixteen NRL clubs interested in the plethora of young talent at schoolboy level.
Mulholland says, “The opportunities are for the boys to come to Sydney or to Australia, to another NRL club outside the Warriors and use that as a development step, as a pathway to the NRL."
Current Warriors U20s fullback Brad Abbey who has signed to Canterbury Bulldogs for 2016 starred in this tournament.
Joe Harawira says, “In recent years we've had Roger Tuivasa-Sheck come through this pathway. This is where he was identified and we've got a lot of young players coming through.”
Mt Albert Grammar star Bostyn Hakaraia is one player who was shoulder tapped by an Australian club.
He says, “I signed a three-year contract with the Gold Coast (Titans) at the start of the year, so I'm into my first year and will go over for the next two.”
If playing in New Zealand or Australia is the ultimate dream for these players, either way there is a clear path.