Australia’s first rugby league reality series begins when The NRL Rookie premieres on Tuesday, May 31, at 7.30pm on 9GO!
The winner of The NRL Rookie will land the coveted prize of a contract with one of the 16 clubs in the National Rugby League.
Twenty-eight finalists have been selected from thousands of applicants around the world – in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the United Kingdom and United States. They will be pushed to the absolute limits of physical and psychological endurance, with searching assessments of their rugby league skills, in a quest to win the ultimate prize.
Episode one introduces series host Erin Molan (The NRL Footy Show) and the 28 candidates to Head Coach, Brad Fittler, who will mentor the Rookies throughout the competition.
Brad Fittler is one of Australia’s best-known rugby league talents. He was the youngest ever NSW State of Origin player (debuting in 1990 at the age of 18), captained 14 teams in Origin from 1990-2004, won two premierships (with the Panthers and the Roosters) and is currently an expert commentator for Channel Nine.
Molan and Fittler will be joined by former rugby league greats Mark “MG” Geyer and Adrian Lam, who will act as the forwards and backs coaches respectively.
In each episode the coaching team will be joined by current and former NRL players to manage, educate and motivate the Rookies through their mountainous challenges. These guests include Rugby League Immortal Wally Lewis, Billy Slater, Darren Lockyer, Paul Gallen, Anthony Minichiello, Adam “Mad Dog” MacDougall and Robbie Kearns. Boxing champ Danny Green will also be featured.
The high-performance training program will develop the abilities of the contestants, with weekly challenges and matches against elite opposition. The show is shot on location in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Auckland. Each contestant faces the acid test of his ability to perform as an individual and within a team, physically, tactically and emotionally – on the road to making history as The NRL Rookie.
The Live Finale will take place on August 2, where all 16 clubs will be represented and have the opportunity to sign the winner live on stage.
The NRL Rookie is produced by McGuire Media in association with the NRL.