Expect more from NRL Rookie Power
The NRL Rookie had another double cut in Episode 7, with Elias Power being one of the two players to exit the show on Tuesday night.
Power played rugby league from a young age for Wondoan Wildcats in Queensland, the same club Darren Lockyer played at in his junior rugby league days. He then went to boarding school at Nudgee College in Brisbane where he made the switch to rugby union.
Playing union from ages 13 to 25, Power made Australian Under 20s and Australian Sevens squads but remained passionate about rugby league and especially the Brisbane Broncos. When The NRL Rookie was advertised it seemed an obvious move for Power to return to the game he first started playing.
"One of my best mates encouraged me to apply for it," Power told NRL.com.
"He said 'Mate, if you want your chance here it is'. Everyone always said to me I played more like a rugby league player because of the way I run. So they said 'why don't you have a go?'"
It didn't take long for Power to recapture his rugby league skills, becoming one of the most impressive forwards in The NRL Rookie's final 14 and winning a Captain's Challenge in Auckland.
"I think the main difference is the skillset in league," he said of the transition back to the 13-man game.
"There is definitely a different tackling technique. In union it's more about one-on-one tackles whereas in league it's more of a group tackle and a slow tackle.
"Union is more a 'play on the fly' type of game, whereas league is very structured."
Power took a lot on board from NRL Rookie coaches Brad Fittler, Mark Geyer and Adrian Lam and said being on the show was an invaluable experience in furthering his footy career.
"Most of all I enjoyed the professionalism of the coaches and the coaching staff," Power said.
"I enjoyed being coached by someone who expected more of you.
"My dad has always said that you respect someone who expects more from you, and I think the coaches on The NRL Rookie expected a lot out of us and that's where I got the most out of it."
On the other hand, having to be with all the other Rookies 24 hours a day, seven days a week proved challenging for the 25-year-old from country Queensland.
"Dealing with the different personalities on the show was the hardest thing for me," Power said.
"The boys all being from different backgrounds and trying to bond together was quite hard. But I guess that's team building."
Since leaving the show, Power has decided to stick with rugby league and spent the whole 2016 pre-season training and trialling with the Redcliffe Dolphins in Queensland's Intrust Super Cup with coaches Adam Mogg and Danny Green.
Due to university commitments, Power was unable to play full time with the Dolphins, but hopes to return to play second row at an Intrust Super Cup club next season.
"This is my final year of university so I hope to finish my degree this year," he said.
"I'm still training and looking for an opportunity at a club to get ready for next year. I'm looking to head into a pre-season and get ready for season 2017.
"Being on The NRL Rookie let me know what level I was at in terms of rugby league. I went in there wanting to know how good I was and what level I was at.
"Coming out of it I have more of an idea of how much more work I had to do. It definitely humbled me in a way."
And as for the Broncos in the NRL Telstra Premiership, Power is confident the 2016 grand finalists can go one better in 2017.
"Their definitely going to turn it around. I've got a lot of faith in their coaching staff and I think we'll definitely see the Broncos go deep into the finals, that's for sure."
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AUSTRALIAN BROADCAST DETAILS:
Each episode will air five times during the week on free to air television across the Nine Network:
• PREMIERE – Tuesday – GO! 7.30PM (SYD/MEL/BRIS)
• ENCORE 1 - Wednesday - CH9 10.30PM (SYD/BRIS)
• ENCORE 2 - Saturday - CH9 1PM (BRIS)
• ENCORE 3 - Sunday - CH9 2.30PM (SYD)
• ENCORE 4 - Monday - GO! 11.30PM (SYD/MEL/BRIS/ADE/PER)
Please note: these time may vary from week to week so be sure to check your local guides.