The Footy Show tonight announced that the Nine Network, in conjunction with the National Rugby League and Telstra, will make The NRL Rookie, an exciting new reality series that will give one lucky amateur player the chance to turn pro with an NRL club.
The new series, produced by McGuire Media, will scout Australia and overseas to uncover the NRL's next big star, who will be offered a one-year professional contract with one of the 16 NRL clubs.
Entries are now officially open online, and after state-by-state and Auckland trials the successful candidates will travel to Sydney, living together and undergoing intensive training to become an elite NRL player.
As the 10-part program progresses, the number of rookies will be reduced until the winner is awarded a contract with an NRL club on a special live finale broadcast.
Nine Network Senior Executive Producer, Glenn Pallister, said: "We're thrilled that this exciting new show will showcase some of the best undiscovered footy talent here in Australia and abroad. Each week the guys will be put through their paces in a variety of physical and mental challenges to see if they have what it takes to be the first NRL Rookie."
NRL Head of Marketing, Lewis Pullen, said: "Somewhere out there is someone with great potential who dreams of becoming an NRL star. The NRL are going to help him realise that potential, whoever he is. And, not to forget about where they got their start, we’ll also be giving the winning rookie's local rugby league club $25,000 to use for uniforms, equipment or a clubroom makeover, so we're really excited."
To be eligible to become the first NRL Rookie, players must be at least 20 years of age and must not have played an NRL first-grade game. Also, they must not have played NSW Cup, Queensland Cup or Holden Cup Under 20s over the past three seasons.
Online applications and terms and conditions (including overseas entries) can be found at nrlrookie.com
The NRL Rookie will go to air in 2016 on the Nine Network.
Follow The NRL Rookie journey on Twitter with #nrlrookie