Roosters fullback James Tedesco and Dragons centre Jessica Sergis hope to see more junior players than ever having a team of their own in 2021.
Reviving the game's old theme song - the classic Hoodoo Gurus track "That's my Team", re-recorded by a female vocalist - the NRL's latest advertising campaign encouraging junior participation asks kids if they're "Ready to Play?" the various forms of the game in NSW and Queensland.
The idea of adapting the Hoodoo Gurus' iconic hit "What's My Scene?" into rugby league's memorable 'That's My Team' campaign was originally conceived by ex-Cronulla and NSW Origin player – and junior league coach – Alan Wilson.
After a tough season for community clubs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused many competitions to be shortened or cancelled, early junior registrations are up by more than 12 percent year-on-year.
Tedesco, the 2019 Dally M Medallist and incumbent NSW Blues captain, spoke of how his early days playing for the Camden Rams gave him myriad skills and lessons that aided his development.
"Apart from introducing me to the game that became my life and career, I developed resilience, an appreciation for teamwork, and importantly made some mates for life," Tedesco said.
Sergis, the women's 2019 Dally M Medallist and one of the NRLW's most exciting stars, has experienced similar benefits.
"Through playing rugby league as a junior at Coogee Randwick Wombats, I gained a level of physical and mental confidence that has stayed with me throughout my playing career and helped me prepare for the many challenges of life," Sergis said.
"Most importantly it was great fun, and something I looked forward to every week."