The NRL have announced that former Warriors and Kiwis centre Jerome Ropati has been appointed the first ever New Zealander to become an NRL One Community ambassador.
Ropati, who amassed 145 NRL games with the Warriors and 11 Tests for New Zealand – including the 2008 World Cup victory – in his career before retiring midway through last season - said he is honoured to join the ranks of the NRL One Community team.
Ropati's appointment is a timely one with the NRL Community Carnival beginning on Monday and continuing until the end of February.
Alongside fellow rugby league legends and all 16 clubs, Ropati's first task will involve visiting schools around New Zealand in line with the carnival – now in its 15th year – and the event's theme of 'wellbeing'.
"I’m honoured to represent my country as the first ever New Zealander to join the NRL Community team," Ropati said.
"Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky enough to see the positive impact rugby league can have on key community issues. I’m excited to get stuck into the role and the Community Carnival is the perfect place to start."
With the One Community team's expansion to New Zealand, it has given the Community Carnival more opportunities to visit more school across two countries.
Adam Check, the NRL's Head of Community, believes Ropati's appointment is an important one.
"Jerome’s appointment will further extend the reach of our community program in New Zealand, complementing the great work already done by the Warriors," Check said.
"His achievements on the field were surpassed only by his exceptional commitment to community.
"He has a genuine enthusiasm for making positive change and we’re delighted to welcome him to the NRL Community fold."