15-12-12, 04:17 AM
THE NEXT generation of New England?s rugby league stars are set to get a flying start as the Armidale District Schools? Development squad gets underway for a second year with a joint partnership with the Gold Coast Titans.

The program sees talented players from Armidale, Uralla and Guyra take part in development pathways which include an intensive training camp at the Gold Coast Titans centre of Excellence.

Gold Coast Titans junior pathways manager Gavin Judd said the pathways provides unique opportunities regional players to develop their skills at the elite level.

?If we can assist in developing rugby league in rural areas then we are only too happy to help,? he said.

?Country areas have been strong breeding grounds and a fantastic source for NRL clubs so it also makes sense for us to help in that regard, it?s a win win for both parties.?

Development squad coordinator Tim Polson, a teacher at Armidale High School, said the partnership with the titans will help grow the sport in the region and develop much better players.

?The relationship between us and the Titans has been born out of goodwill from them and to have a direct pathway established is something quite exciting,? he said.

?Next year we will pick a side from the local 16s and travel to play a feeder school for the Titans and from that match they will select two or three players from our side to attend their camps and then play in a match for them.

?If the Titans are impressed they will take them into their program.?

Polson said the current success of the local rugby league teams will and the development squad will pave the way for a successful 2013 season for the Armidale Rams.

?The Rams have won five of the last seven under-18 premierships, a few reserve grade premierships and last year the first grade side was six points from a semi-finals berth,? he said.
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?Next year is looking even better, so there is definitely something to be positive about.?
Applications for the Armidale and District Schools Gold Coast Titans Development Squad will open early next year and students are encouraged to talk to the rugby league coordinator at their school.


17-12-12, 09:52 AM
Been told that Parramatta and Bronco's have a very strong presence in the area. It will be interesting to see if we can make a dent to that.

17-12-12, 11:16 AM
Very good to hear we are reaching out. Especially to places like Armidale.