The NRL Rookie, the new reality TV series that chronicles the journey of 14 rugby league players, will air for the first time tonight (May 31).
Australia’s first rugby league reality TV series, The NRL Rookie will premiere at 7.30pm on 9GO!
Channel Nine will screen an encore episode each Wednesday at 10.30pm – the premiere will be shown following State of Origin I, tomorrow night (June 1).
The NRL has also developed NRLRookie.com as the main destination website for the series not just for Australian audiences but also globally.
The site will feature not only full-length episodes for catch-up each week immediately after first broadcast on TV, but exclusive web only content commissioned specifically for the site, plus extended scenes and out-takes.
Full length catch-up episodes will be available online via The NRL Rookie site to Australian, New Zealand, PNG and South Pacific audiences.
The series will also be screened in the UK on Sky Sports, New Zealand on TVNZ’s new channel Duke, in PNG via NBCTV, and in Fiji via FijiTV. More international territories are expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
The 10-episide series, hosted by Erin Molan and including head coach Brad Fittler, forwards coach Mark Geyer, backs coach Adrian Lam, as well as psychology coach Kate Baecher, will culminate in a live finale on August 2.
In the finale, Fittler will present his top three players to an audience of all 16 NRL Clubs, who will then determine the ultimate winner. The winning Rookie will sign an NRL contract live on TV.
Thousands of applicants auditioned for the series from around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the UK and US.
The finalists include Jesse Shearer, the son of Dale Shearer (Queensland and Australia), Lou Goodwin, the son of Matt Goodwin (Panthers, Eels, Rabbitohs), and Jordan Martin, the son of Paul Martin (Raiders, Gold Coast Seagulls).
The finalists had interesting backgrounds, NRL Head of Commercial Andrew Abdo said.
“All of our finalists are talented rugby league players, but they also have incredible back-stories. We have a player who fled war-torn Serbia when he was young, another who represented England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, another who represented Great Britain in the bobsleigh, and another who had heart surgery the week before the competition began.
“For many of these young men, The NRL Rookie is their last chance.”