A host of rugby league stars were announced in the 2017 NRL and NYC Academic Teams of the Year last night in Sydney.
The awards carry a proud tradition and have celebrated and recognised the education achievements of players over the past decade.
NRL players including Tim Mannah, Tom Trbojevic and Jacob Host joined NYC players including Mitchell Dunn, Patrick Carrigan and Eiden Ackland in accepting their place in respective academic teams.
St George-Illawarra prop Jacob Host said he was surprised, but honoured to be recognised by the NRL and RLPA for his academic achievements away from rugby league.
"It's pretty surreal and I didn't really think that I would be in consideration, but I got nominated by the guys at the Dragons and I'm very privileged and honoured to be selected in the NRL Academic Team of the Year," Host said.
"I'm doing a Bachelor of Exercise Sports Science at Australian Catholic University and I'm really enjoying it at the moment.
There's lots of interesting content and the course and content has synergies to what I do with footy."
Senior NRL Wellbeing and Education Manager Paul Heptonstall expressed his delight at the hundreds of players representing the game so well off the field and achieving academic success.
"It's players like all those in the 2017 NRL and NYC Academic Teams that will help ensure the NRL, Clubs and RLPA continue to prioritise the importance of engaging in education at all levels of our game," Mr Heptonstall said.
"It's also important to highlight these successes can only be achieved with the great support from the many educational providers we work with throughout the country. It does not go unappreciated or unrecognised."
NRL-RLPA Program Highlights
22% of all NRL and NYC players have, or are currently completing, a university degree
15% obtaining a trade qualification
Almost 80% of all active NRL players having completed a level of Vocational Education and Training qualification
440 current and retired players receiving education grants from our wellbeing committee
NYC Academic Team of the Year 2017
Brisbane Broncos: Patrick Carrigan (Bachelor of Physiotherapy, University of Queensland)
Cronulla Sharks: Billy Magoulias (Bachelor of Business, University of Wollongong)
Canterbury Bulldogs: Joseph Tramontana (Bachelor of Health Science (Health & Physical Education), Western Sydney University)
St George Dragons: Stuart Mason (Bachelor of Exercise Science, University of Wollongong)
Penrith Panthers: Liam Martin (Bachelor of Science , University of New South Wales)
North Queensland Cowboys: Mitchell Dunn (Bachelor of Education, James Cook University)
Gold Coast Titans: Tyronne Roberts-Davis (Certificate III in Carpentry, Gold Coast Institute of TAFE)
Sydney Roosters: Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu (Bachelor of Accounting , Western Sydney University)
New Zealand Warriors: Eiden Ackland (Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws, University of Auckland)
Parramatta Eels: Dane Aukafolau (Certificate IV Education Support, Aust Training Company)
South Sydney Rabbitohs: Blake Manowski (Bachelor of Medical Science, University of New South Wales)
Wests Tigers: Royce Tout (Bachelor of Law, Macquarie University)
Melbourne Storm: Harry Grant (Certificate III in Electrical, TAFE Queensland East Coast - Nambour)
NRL Academic Team of the Year
Brisbane Broncos: Tom Opacic (Bachelor of Sports & Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University)
Cronulla Sharks: Chad Townsend (Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning, Kaplan Professional)
South Sydney Rabbitohs: Damien Cook (Bachelor of Education , Australian College of Physical Education)
St George Dragons: Jacob Host (Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science, Australian Catholic University)
Cowboys: John Asiata (Diploma of Financial Planning, Completed Cert IV in Youth Work, Monash Uni)
Melbourne Storm: Christian Welch (Bachelor of Commerce, Melbourne University)
Gold Coast Titans: Anthony Don (Master of Business, University of New England)
Parramatta Eels: Tim Mannah (Bachelor of Sports Business, Completed a Diploma of Financial Planning, Australian College of Physical Education)
Newcastle Knights: Jamie Buhrer (Bachelor of Sports Business, Australian College of Physical Education)
Wests Tigers: Ava Seumanufagai (Bachelor of Psychology, Australian Catholic University)
Manly Sea Eagles : Tom Trbojevic (Bachelor of applied Finance with Bachelor of Economics, Macquarie University)
Roosters: Luke Keary (Bachelor of Business Administration, , Australian Catholic University)
Canterbury Bulldogs: Michael Lichaa (Cert IV in building & Construction, Australian Skills & Training Academy)