Wakefield Trinity have formed a partnership with Brisbane Broncos to organise a developmental opportunity for young Rugby League players.
Former Warrington Wolves forward Darren Burns is now the Community Development Manager at Brisbane Broncos and has formed a partnership with Wakefield Trinity Head of Youth, Mark Applegarth, to organise a developmental opportunity for young Rugby League players in both hemispheres.
Based on the ‘foreign exchange’ system, players will spend two weeks with a family in West Yorkshire or Queensland while being able to train with the Academy set up of both professional clubs.
“We have a dual-career Category 3 Academy at Wakefield College which is a different environment to our professional Academy at Wakefield Trinity and the exchange player will be able to train with both over the two week period” said Mark Applegarth, Head of Youth, Wakefield Trinity.
“Likewise, Broncos will allow a player from the UK to train with their Academy and local representative squad. It’s a great opportunity for young players to experience first-hand a different culture and learning environment. Going to a club like Brisbane will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for some of our young lads, I’m really happy we have set up this link.”
The opportunity will be self-funded by the player and their family and players will not be identified based on talent, but more so their work ethic, values and discipline. Exact timescales are still being discussed but it is a scheme that could see both youth systems sharing best practice as the relationship develops.
Darren Burns, Game and Community Development Manager at Brisbane Broncos, added, “I have great memories of my time in the UK, and this led to the idea of offering local junior players here in my regional area the chance to travel to a foreign land to experience another culture, and at the same time broaden their passion for Rugby League. It is not about sending the best players from each country, but about offering an experience to the players who deserve it, and who would represent their respective clubs and country well.
“I am sure players from the UK would love the opportunity to see and experience a great club like the Broncos, along with the chance of playing in a local match while here.”
Further information on how to register your interest will be broadcast shortly.