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The next generation of the NRL’s brightest Rugby League prospects will get their first taste of what it takes to be a Telstra Premiership player when the annual Toyota Cup Rookie Camps commence at Sydney University Village today.

Today is the first of three Toyota Cup Rookie Camps that will see 90 players from the Eels, Bulldogs, Wests Tigers, Dragons, Panthers and Rabbitohs undertaking the two-day intensive course.

240 players entering the Toyota Cup over the next three weeks will be taken through two days of extensive training in media, cultural awareness, drugs and alcohol, social media, money matters, community work, social responsibility and personal presentation.

The second camp is set for Brisbane from December 4-5, involving the Titans, Broncos, Cowboys, Newcastle and Canberra.

The final round of induction camps will be held in New Zealand for the first time, from December 11-12, with the Storm, Warriors, Sharks, Roosters and Sea Eagles.

It is the unique combination of the induction camps, on-going education initiatives and a ground breaking Toyota Cup competition that includes mandated non-training days and a “no work/study - no play rule” that sets the NRL programme apart.

“It is a platform to prepare the future stars of our game for the challenges that confront modern-day athletes and, most importantly, to build a rewarding career for life after football,” NRL CEO, Mr David Gallop, said today.

“One of the great strengths of our game is that local kids can become local heroes and the Toyota Cup provides an exciting pathway for them to do it.

“The Toyota Cup has transformed the way our next generation of NRL stars prepares for careers both on and off the field and I wish to thank Toyota for their ongoing support for a competition unique in Australian sport.”

The competition has already proved to be a great pathway for the next Rugby League superstars with an average of 53 players each year making the jump to the NRL.

The likes of Chris Sandow, Lachlan Coote and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves have already made a huge impression in the game’s elite competition after first learning their wares in the Toyota Cup.

The popularity of the competition is also on the rise with approximately 930,000 fans tuning in to watch the Warriors defeat the Rabbitohs 42-28 in the 2010 Toyota Cup Grand Final.