During the Dragons recent trip to Wellington, Recruitment Manager Ben Haran and Ambassador Dan Hunt took the opportunity to conduct a clinic with 13 rugby league players from Wellington and the local surrounds aged between 15 and 18 that have previously been identified by the Dragons recruitment network.
The program delivered on the day replicated that which the Dragons High Performance staff regularly deliver throughout regional New South Wales and Queensland - a serious of screens and physical fitness tests as well as skill work to get a broad understanding of their abilities against key rugby league requirements and standards.
In his role as a Dragons Ambassador and NRL State of Mind Ambassador, recently retired Dragons Prop Dan Hunt also delivered a presentation to the young players across key topics such as mental health, physical health and training habits.
Former NRL, Super League and kiwi player David Lomax played a key role in the organisation of the day, hosting the squad at WelTec, Wellington Institute of Technology where he works as a Mentor and Team Leader.
Lomax has a close association with Dragons Director of Recruitment and Retention, Peter Mulholland, he was a part of the Western Reds and Paris Saint-Germain rugby league teams coached by Mulholland in 1996 and 1997 and is involved with junior rugby league in New Zealand as has previously coached the Junior Kiwi’s and New Zealand Residents Teams.
“It was a great for these kids to have the opportunity to be exposed to the Dragons system, understand the standards and expectations required,” said Lomax. “They have the opportunity to take away many things and prepare themselves should an opportunity come their way in the future”.
Coach of the Wellington League Academy and Orcas U17 team, Peter Rikiriki, said that his players would benefit enormously from the experience.
“Opportunities to work with NRL Clubs and players is something rare for these players and something that they have been really looking forward too,” said Rikiriki. “It builds on the coaching development systems that we have an place here and encourages them to continue working hard”.
The results of the sessions undertaken at WelTec will be analysed by Dragons staff and the players’ progress will continue to be monitored.