Wakefield forge youth player exchange link with Brisbane

Wakefield have formed a partnership with NRL club Brisbane Broncos to assist with youth development.

Based on the ‘foreign exchange’ system, players will spend two weeks with a family in West Yorkshire or Queensland while being able to train with the Academy set up of both professional clubs.

The deal has been set up by Trinity’s Head of Youth, Mark Applegarth, and the Broncos Community Development Manager, former Warrington forward Darren Burns.

Applegarth said: “We have a dual-career Category 3 Academy at Wakefield College which is a different environment to our professional Academy at Wakefield Trinity and the exchange player will be able to train with both over the two week period

“Likewise, Broncos will allow a player from the UK to train with their Academy and local representative squad. It’s a great opportunity for young players to experience first-hand a different culture and learning environment. 

“Going to a club like Brisbane will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for some of our young lads, I’m really happy we have set up this link.”

Burns added: “I have great memories of my time in the UK, and this led to the idea of offering local junior players here in my regional area the chance to travel to a foreign land to experience another culture, and at the same time broaden their passion for Rugby League. 

“It is not about sending the best players from each country, but about offering an experience to the players who deserve it, and who would represent their respective clubs and country well.

“I am sure players from the UK would love the opportunity to see and experience a great club like the Broncos, along with the chance of playing in a local match while here.”

Several young English players have made the move Down Under in recent years, while current Leeds prop Anthony Mullally spent a year with the Brisbane youth system during his time at Widnes.

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