Tweed rookie stars in new NRL reality TV show
FORMER Tweed Heads Seagull and Bilambil Jet Matt Gorman will fly the flag for the Tweed when he takes on 27 other professional rugby league aspirants on Channel 9’s new reality series The NRL Rookie.
Premiering on digital channel 9GO on Tuesday night at 7.30pm, The NRL Rookie will reward one contestant with the coveted prize of a guaranteed contract with one of the National Rugby League’s 16 clubs.
Watch: Matt Gorman’s audition video here.
Gorman and the other finalists, selected from thousands of applicants from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the United Kingdom and the United States, will be pushed to the limits of physical and psychological endurance in their quest to win the ultimate prize.
The show’s host, Erin Molan (The NRL Footy Show), will be joined by league legend Brad Fittler (head coach) and league greats Mark “MG” Geyer and Adrian Lam (coaches), who will manage, educate and motivate rookies through their challenges.
Fittler, the youngest ever NSW State of Origin player (18 in 1990), captained 14 Origin teams between 1990-2004 and won two premierships with Penrith and Sydney City and said the first few weeks of the show were brutal, beginning with a punishing first episode on Tuesday night.
“The first challenge happens at about one or two in the morning and involves holding hands, hills and water,” Fittler said.
Fittler said Gorman starred in the first challenge to stamp himself as a strong competitor from the outset.
“He’s very passionate and on the back of his passion and desire he goes hard,” he said.
“He showed some great courage and he did your area proud.”
The NRL Rookie features a host of rugby league royalty, with guests including Wally Lewis, Billy Slater, Darren Lockyer and Danny Green working with the rookies.
Fittler said rugby league was a great sport for the concept, with its ability to appeal to all walks of life as will be seen on the show.
“The one thing league does is it tosses up a great cross section of society and people that are passionate,” Fittler said.
“We’ve got bobsledders, union players, guys that have never played league, guys that nearly made it but went home and have come back for their last opportunity.
“These guys are driven pretty hard, so people will enjoy seeing them tortured.”
Contestants will be whittled down through regular eliminations on the weekly show, until three contestants are left to vie for an NRL club contract during a live finale.
“The three finalists will go into a mini-draft and the club gets to pick one of them on a guaranteed contract,” Fittler said.
He said plenty of scouts had been watching the rookies being put through their paces, with each club needing to fill a specific need, which could play a part in deciding the winner.
The live finale takes place on August 2, where clubs have the opportunity to sign the winner live on stage.
- The NRL Rookie
- Premieres Tuesday, May 31 at 7.30pm on 9GO
- Live Finale, August 2