Awards & Recognition

In 2011, the NRL-RLPA Academic Team of the Year was created to honour the work players are doing to prepare themselves for life after football and promote the game’s commitment to providing further education and workplace training for players.

The criteria for selection is:

  1. Consistent NRL playing performances.
  2. Commitment and progress in an educational program that is preparing them for a post-footy career.
  3. A positive influence on the other players within their Club.

The awards have grown to include:

  • Apprentice of the Year
  • Trade Up Mentor of the Year
  • Pasifika Academic Excellence

The award winners are selected by the NRL-RLPA Welfare and Education Committee in consultation with NRL and Club Welfare and Education staff.

2017 NRL Academic Team of the Year

  • Tom Opacic, Brisbane Broncos
    Bachelor of Sports & Exercise Science
  • Chad Townsend, Cronulla Sharks
    Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning
  • Damien Cook, South Sydney Rabbitohs
    Bachelor of Education
  • Jacob Host, St George Dragons
    Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science
  • John Asiata, Cowboys
    Diploma of Financial Planning,  Completed Cert IV in Youth Worki
  • Christian Welch, Melbourne Storm
    Bachelor of Commerce
  • Anthony Don, Gold Coast Titans
    Master of Business
  • Tim Mannah, Parramatta Eels
    Bachelor of Sports Business, Completed a Diploma of Financial Planning
  • Jamie Buhrer, Newcastle Knights
    Bachelor of Sports Business
  • Ava Seumanufagai, Wests Tigers
    Bachelor of Psychology
  • Tom Trbojevic, Manly Sea Eagles
    Bachelor of applied Finance with Bachelor of Economics
  • Luke Keary, Roosters
    Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Michael Lichaa, Canterbury Bulldogs
    Cert IV in building & Construction

2017 NYC Academic Team of the Year

  • Patrick Carrigan, Brisbane Broncos
    Bachelor of Physiotherapy
  • Billy Magoulias, Cronulla Sharks
    Bachelor of Business
  • Joseph Tramontana, Canterbury Bulldogs
    Bachelor of Health Science  (Health & Physical Education)
  • Stuart Mason, St George Dragons
    Bachelor of Exercise Science
  • Liam Martin, Penrith Panthers
    Bachelor of Science
  • Mitchell Dunn, North Queensland Cowboys
    Bachelor of Education
  • Tyronne Roberts-Davis, Gold Coast Titans
    Certificate III in Carpentry
  • Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu, Sydney Roosters
    Bachelor of Accounting
  • Eiden Ackland, New Zealand Warriors
    Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws
  • Dane Aukafolau, Parramatta Eels
    Certificate IV Education Support
  • Blake Manowski, South Sydney Rabbitohs
    Bachelor of Medical Science
  • Royce Tout, Wests Tigers
    Bachelor of Law
  • Harry Grant, Melbourne Storm
    Certificate III in Electrical

2016 NRL Academic Team of Year

awards-nrl-2016

  • Ian Henderson, Roosters
    Completed a Diploma of Financial Planning
  • Ryan James, Titans
    Currently completing a Bachelor Of Business
  • Jeremy Latimore, Panthers
    Completed a Bachelor of Business
  • James Tedesco, Tigers
    Currently completing a Bachelor Health & Exercise Science
  • Ryan Hoffman, Warriors
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Business
  • Adam Blair, Broncos
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Social Science
  • Michael Oldfield, Rabbitohs
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce
  • Daniel Mortimer, Titans
    Completed a Bachelor of Education (Physical and Health Education)
  • Josh Jackson, Bulldogs
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science
  • Jake Trjbojevic, Sea Eagles
    Completed a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Management
  • Russell Packer, Dragons
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance)
  • Daniel Alvaro, Eels
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Business & Construction Management
  • Kurt Baptiste, Raiders
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Engineering

2016 NYC Academic Team of Year

awards-nyc-2016

  • Ben Nakubuwai, Storm
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Exercise Science
  • Jacob Liddle, Tigers
    Currently studying a Bachelor of Engineering
  • Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck, Roosters
    Currently studying a Filmakers Intensive and completed a Cert IV in Graphic Design
  • Jayden Brailey, Sharks
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science
  • Angus Crichton, Rabbitohs
    Currently studying a Bachelor of Arts Media and Communications
  • Sam Swift, Titans
    Currently studying a Bachelor of Journalism
  • Nathan Cleary, Panthers
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Arts Pathway to Secondary Teaching
  • Jack Payne, Dragons
    Currently studying a Bachelor of Physical Health and Education
  • Jack Cogger, Knights
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Social Science
  • Jack Morris, Eels
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Physical Activity and Health Science
  • Jack Hickson, Raiders
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Law and Business Administration
  • Max Elliott, Broncos
    Currently completing a Bachelor of Sports & Exercise Science
  • Ross Bella, Cowboys
    3rd Year Apprentice Electrician

2016 Indigenous & Pasifika Excellence Award

awards-pacific-2016

  • Pasifika Academic Excellence and Leadership Award
    Sam Tagataese & Ben Henry
  • Indigenous Academic Excellence and Leadership Award
    Ray Thompson & Dane Gagai

2015 NRL Academic Team of Year

awards-nrl-2015

  • Sam Moa, Sydney Roosters
    Currently studying a Certificate III in Building & Construction Cert iv Career Development
  • Joel Thompson, St George Dragons
    Currently studying a Diploma of Community Services through TAFE Illawarra
  • George Rose, St George Dragons
    Currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Commerce at the University of Sydney
  • Dale Finucane, Melbourne Storm
    Currently studying a Bachelor of Health & Movement through Australian College of Physical Education
  • David Gower, Parramatta Eels
    Currently completing his Cert IV in Career Development while commencing articulation into a Marketing Degree building on his Trade and Management qualifications
  • Rory Kostjasyn, North Queensland Cowboys
    Completed : Cert III Sport and Rec, cert iii in fitness, cert iv personal training,cert iv in small business, cert iv frontline management
  • David Shillington, Canberra Raiders
    Currently studying a Bachelor of Business at Canberra University
  • Luke Douglas, Gold Coast Titans
    Currently studying a Assosiate degree in Surveying University of Southern Queensland
  • Brett Morris, Canterbury Bulldogs
    Completed a Diploma of Business in 2012 & progressed to Bachelor of Business ( Finance)
  • James Tedesco, Wests Tigers
    Currently studying a Health and Exercise Science at Australian Catholic University
  • Keith Galloway, Wests Tigers
    Currently studying a cert iv in Career Development, completed Mental Health first aid course @ UWS
  • Siliva Havili, New Zealand Warriors
    Completed a Bachelor of Health Science Degree majoring in Podiatry @ Auckland University of Technology
  • Todd Lowrie, Brisbane Broncos
    Completed a Cert IV in Project Management & Cert iv in small business, Coordinator of the GOL across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane ACU campus’s

2015 NYC Academic Team of Year

awards-nyc-2015

  • Toafofoa Sipley, New Zealand Warriors
    Bachelor of Education @ Auckland University
  • Brandon Luamanu, Canterbury Bulldogs
    Currently studying a Bachelor of Education @ Australian College of Physical Education
  • Will Pearsall, Manly Sea Eagles
    Currently in his Second year of an Apprentice Carpentry Certificate
  • Jacob Host, St George Dragons
    Currently studying Sport and Exercise Science at Australian Catholic University
  • Oliver Clark, Penrith Panthers
    Currently studying a Bachelor of Physiotherapy @ Australian Catholic University
  • Jack Tuttle, Brisbane Broncos
    Currently studying a Bachelor of Business @ Queensland University of Technology
  • Lachlan Lewis, Canberra Raiders
    Currently studying a Bachelor of Engineering @ Australian National University
  • Shae AhFook, Melbourne Storm
    Currently studying  a Bachelor of Applied Science(Property and Valuation)( Honours) @ RMIT University
  • Tyrell Fuimaono, Parramatta Eels
    Currently studying a Bachelor Business & Commerce at the University of Western Sydney
  • Hayden Schwass, Gold Titans
    Currently in his 3rd year of Electrical Apprenticeship
  • Kieran Quabba, North Queensland Cowboys
    Currently studying  a Bachelor of Education @ James Cook University
  • Bradley Deitz, Cronulla Sharks
    Bachelor of Health and Exercise Science- Australian Catholic University (3rd year)
    Apprentice of the Year Award
  • Bradie Smith, Newcastle Knights
    Commenced Clerk of Works (Cert IV Carpentry) ( 2015)
    Completed cert iii in Carpentry ( 2014)
    Established his own Building Company – Bradie Smith Carpentry

2015 Indigenous & Pasifika Excellence Award

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  • George Rose & Bronson Harrison
  • Dene Halatau & Joel Thompson

2014 NRL Academic Team of Year

awards-nrl-2014

  • Dale Finucane, Bulldogs
    Bachelor of Health and Movement
  • Brent Tate, Cowboys
    Cert iv Frontline Management
  • Jeremy Latimore, Panthers
    Bachelor of Commerce
  • Ryan Simpkins, Panthers
    Diploma in Hydraulics Design
  • Tom Symonds, Sea Eagles
    Graduated Bachelor of Health and Exercise Science
  • Brenton Lawrence, Sea Eagles
    Bachelor of Arts in International Studies completed
  • Siliva Havili, Warriors
    Bachelor of Health Science – Podiatry
  • Robbie Rochow, Knights
    Degree in Civil Engineering
  • Todd Lowrie, Broncos
    Cert IV in Project Management & Cert iv in small business
  • Jason Nightingale, Dragons
    Bachelor of Business Degree
  • David Shillington, Raiders
    Bachelor of Business
  • Jason Clark, Rabbitohs
    Cert III Fitness and Cert IV in Small Business
  • Ryan Hoffman, Storm
    Bachelor of Business

2014 NYC Academic Team of Year

awards-nyc-2014

  • Adam Elliott
    Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy), Sydney University
  • Joshjua Tangitau
    Degree in Exercise Sports Science, UWS
  • Corey Jensen
    Degree in Sport & Exercise Science, JCU
  • Cheyne Whitelaw
    Bachelor of Exercise Physiology, 1st year, UNSW
  • Jack Delaney – Captain this season
    Bachelor of Business & Commerce, UWS
  • Mason Lino
    Bachelor of Business, 3rd year, AUT
  • Mitch Sharp
    Bachelor of Nursing, Griffith
  • Adam Clune
    Degree in  Law, UOW
  • Christian Welch
    Bachelor Commerce degree, Melbourne
  • Andrew Heffernan
    Bachelor of Sports Coaching & Exercise Science, UC
  • Lachlan Fitzgibbon
    Bachelor of Construction Management , 2nd year, UoN
  • Nathan Milone
    Bachelor of Business, UTS
  • Ben Chahoud
    Carpentry Apprenticeship

2013 NRL Academic Team of Year

awards-nrl-2013

  • Cameron Ciraldo, Penrith Panthers
    Diploma of Business- Martin College
  • Tim Mannah, Parramatta Eels
    Bachelor of Sports Business @ ACPE
  • Ray Thompson, North Queensland Cowboys
    Plumbing Apprenticeship (completed)
  • Ashley Harrison, Gold Coast Titans
    Diploma of  Financial Planning (completed) @ Kaplin
  • Ben Henry, New Zealand Warriors
    Completed Electrial Engineering degree
  • David Williams, Manly Sea Eagles
    Diploma of Graphic Design @ Tafe NSW
  • Robbie Rochow, Newcastle Knights
    Bachelor of Arts @ Newcastle University
  • David Stagg, Brisbane Broncos
    Advanced Diploma of Civil Engineering ( completed)
  • Roy Asotasi, South Sydney Rabbitohs
    Certificate iv Small Business@ ETC (completed)
  • Shaun Fensom, Canberra Raiders
    Carpentry Apprenticeship
  • Dan Hunt, St George Illawarra Dragons
    Bachelor of Education in  PDHPE @ University of Wollongong
  • Nathan Fien, St George Illawarra Dragons
    Diploma of Management @ AETS
  • Ryan Hoffman, Melbourne Storm
    Bachelor of Business  @ Open Universities
  • Josh Jackson, Canterbury Bulldogs
    Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science @ Newcastle University
  • Joel Reddy, Wests Tigers
    Bachelor of Health  and Exercise Science @ UNSW (completed)
  • Ben Ross, Cronulla Sharks
    Bachelor of Health Science @ UWS
  • Daniel Mortimer, Sydney Roosters
    Bachelor of Education  @ ACPE

2012 NRL Academic Team of Year

awards-nrl-2012

  • Luke Burt, Eels
    Bachelor of Health & Movement @ ACPE
  • David Simmons, Panthers
    Bachelor of Theology @ Moore College
  • Ashley Graham, Cowboys
    Bachelor of sports science @ JamesCook University
  • Chris Lawrence, Tigers
    Bachelor of Business @ Monash University
  • Dale Copley, Broncos
    Bachelor of Pharmacy @ University of Queensland
  • Ashley Harrison, Titans
    Diploma of Financial planning & Small Business
  • John Morris, Sharks
    Bachelor of Education at Newcastle University,
  • Corey Payne, Bulldogs
    Masters of Commerce @ Sydney University
  • Matt Ballin, Sea Eagles
    Bachelor of  Health & Movement @ ACPE
  • Matt Scott, Cowboys
    Bachelor of Business via  Open Universities Australia
  • Ben Creagh, Dragons
    Bachelor of Economics @ University of Wollongong
  • Scott Geddes, South’s
    Cert iv in Small business
  • Michael Luck, Warriors
    Masters of Business @ Auckland University
  • Ryan James, Titans
    Bachelor of Business @ Griffith University
  • Anthony Quinn, Storm
    Certificate IV in Building and Construction.
  • Joel Reddy, Tigers
    Bachelor of Health  and Exercise Science @ University  of NSW
  • Bronson Harrison, Raiders
    Completed Cert  3 & 4 Fitness

2011 NRL Academic Team of Year

  • William Zillman, Gold Coast Titans
    Bachelor of Business
  • James McManus, Newcastle Knights
    Advanced Diploma of Property Services – Valuation
  • Jerome Ropati, Warriors
    Graduate Diploma in Business
  • Chris Lawrence, Wests Tigers
    Studying Bachelor of Commerce
  • Sam Perrett, Sydney Roosters
    Completed Certificate III in Carpentry, currently completing Certificate IV in Building and Construction and Diploma of Management
  • Preston Campbell, Gold Coast Titans
    Certificate III and IV in Youth Work
  • Robbie Farah, Wests Tigers
    Bachelor of Commerce
  • Corey Payne , Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
    Bachelor of Commerce (accounting and commercial law majors)
  • Matt Ballin, Manly Sea Eagles
    Studying Bachelor of Education
  • Jason King, Manly Sea Eagles
    Studying Bachelor of Business /Law
  • Ben Creagh, St George Illawarra Dragons
    Studying Bachelor of Commerc
  • Paul Gallen, Cronulla Sharks
    Qualified plumber, Certificate IV in Financial Planning
  • Andrew Ryan, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
    Studying Bachelor of Sports Business at ACPE
  • Bryan Norrie, Melbourne Storm
    Certificate III in Hospitality, in Fitness and in Sport and Recreation, completing electrician apprenticeship
  • Ashley Graham, North Queensland Cowboys
    Certificate III in Sports Administration
  • Michael Weyman, St George Illawarra Dragons
    Diploma if Business
  • Nick Kenny, Brisbane Broncos
    Bachelor of Physiotherapy