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St George Illawarra Dragons second-rower Joel Thompson discusses the benefits of external academic studying after being named in the NRL ‘Academic Team of the Year’ at the NRL’s Community and Player Education Awards held at Sheraton on the Park, Sydney on Friday.

The NSW Country Origin representative is presently studying a Diploma of Community Services at TAFE Illawarra whilst Rose is undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Commerce at the University of Sydney.

Thompson, alongside prop George Rose who was also named in the NRL ‘Academic Team of the Year’, was also the joint-recipient of the NRL Indigenous Academic Excellence Awards.