Athletes from around the world have submitted applications to become the NRL’s next super star.
Already, players have applied to take part in the new reality television show, NRL Rookie from Bosnia, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Samoa, Tonga, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and the United States – as well as Australia.
NRL Head of Football, Todd Greenberg said applications to take part in the show, run in conjunction with Channel 9 and McGuire Media, would close on May 15.
He urged potential players to submit their applications as soon as possible.
Mr Greenberg said the strongest applicants will be invited to trials next month after which a squad of Rugby League hopefuls will be invited to live in a house in Sydney and train like professional footballers.
From there, the winning NRL Rookie will be chosen and awarded a contract with an NRL Club.
Mr Greenberg said it was exciting to see such strong interest, and such high calibre candidates, wanting to be part of the program.
"The aim of the program is to unearth talented players who, for whatever reason, have not previously had the chance to prove themselves at the highest level," Mr Greenberg said.
As a long term partner of the NRL, Telstra is supporting the initiative which will demonstrate the amazing talent that grassroots Rugby League has to offer in communities across Australia.
To be eligible to become the NRL Rookie, players must be at least 20 years of age – and they must not have played in the NRL Telstra Premiership. They must not have played NSW Cup, Queensland Cup or Holden Cup under 20s in the last three seasons.
Applicants' personality and rugby league experience is included as part of the application process.
They are also invited to send a video but the NRL stressed that this is not mandatory and applicants should not attempt to perform dangerous stunts to push their case.
“This show is about skill, athleticism and incredible discipline, not stunts,” the spokesman said.
For more information visit www.nrlrookie.com.