Topic: Rugby League

Youth aim to impress at National Rugby League Youth Tournament

  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

New Zealand selectors, NRL scouts and an NRL player are among the masses gathered at Puketawhero Park in Rotorua for the National Rugby League Youth Tournament.

The weather has provided perfect conditions for the young players to impress and make their mark today. Today’s tournament also welcomed special guest, Ben Barba from the Cronulla Sharkes.

Barba says, "My management company brought me out here to show the kids what they can be. It's a pleasure for me to be out here, it's something different, something I have never seen and I’m really enjoying it."

The tournament has created great opportunities for scouts, last year's competition had three players relocate to Australia within six weeks of the competition.

“It's a great chance for kids to get a chance at life and make something of themselves, they can end up at the Warriors or they can end up back in Australia Playing for one of the NRL clubs,” said Barba.

Wipere Takitimu attended a Titans camp early this year at the age of 14. He’s been seen as hot property at this tournament, two clubs have already shown interest after one day.

Takitimu says, “It's good to see stars here at this tournament, so we can look at them and be like, wow.”