The NRL Rookie

###The NRL Rookie

From Tuesday 31 May at 7.30pm on 9GO!

Australia’s first rugby league reality series begins when The NRL Rookie premieres on Tuesday, May 31, at 7.30pm on 9GO!

The winner of The NRL Rookie will land the coveted prize of a contract with one of the 16 clubs in the National Rugby League.

Twenty-eight finalists have been selected from thousands of applicants around the world – in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the United Kingdom and United States. They will be pushed to the absolute limits of physical and psychological endurance, with searching assessments of their rugby league skills, in a quest to win the ultimate prize.

Episode one introduces series host Erin Molan (The NRL Footy Show) and the 28 candidates to Head Coach, Brad Fittler, who will mentor the Rookies throughout the competition.

Brad Fittler is one of Australia’s best-known rugby league talents. He was the youngest ever NSW State of Origin player (debuting in 1990 at the age of 18), captained 14 teams in Origin from 1990-2004, won two premierships (with the Panthers and the Roosters) and is currently an expert commentator for Channel Nine.

Molan and Fittler will be joined by former rugby league greats Mark “MG” Geyer and Adrian Lam, who will act as the forwards and backs coaches respectively.

In each episode the coaching team will be joined by current and former NRL players to manage, educate and motivate the Rookies through their mountainous challenges. These guests include Rugby League Immortal Wally Lewis, Billy Slater, Darren Lockyer, Paul Gallen, Anthony Minichiello, Adam “Mad Dog” MacDougall and Robbie Kearns. Boxing champ Danny Green will also be featured.

The high-performance training program will develop the abilities of the contestants, with weekly challenges and matches against elite opposition. The show is shot on location in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Auckland. Each contestant faces the acid test of his ability to perform as an individual and within a team, physically, tactically and emotionally – on the road to making history as The NRL Rookie.

The Live Finale will take place on August 2, where all 16 clubs will be represented and have the opportunity to sign the winner live on stage.

The NRL Rookie is produced by McGuire Media in association with the NRL.

Considering the lack of (decent) content for their main channel, surprising to see this commissioned for a multichannel.

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This show was announced ages ago to pretty decent fanfare. For it to end up on a multichannel even in Sydney and Brisbane, Nine must not have very high hopes.

I was of the belief it was always being made for 9Go?


You’re probably right.

This was good and deserves the main channel spot in Sydney and Brisbane instead of the awful 20 to one.


Lou goodwin a couple of years ago played for albury thunder a couple of years ago

From ratings article:

The first episode of NRL Rookie had 128,000 on 9Go!, placing it 38th for the night in multichannel programs

Probably asking too much here TVCynic but is it possible to post the individual figures for each city? 128k is not a good start.

Becasue you asked so nicely :grinning: Added to ratings article:

The best results came in Sydney (53,000) and Melbourne (41,000) with just 15,000 in Brisbane, 14,000 in Adelaide and 6,000 over in Perth.

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Interesting that the show got more viewers in Melbourne than Brisbane. The NRL has always been looking to increase rugby league’s popularity in Melbourne so this is a good sign.

Not a good start. Thought it would have done a little better, particularly in Brisbane.

However, there may be some more eyeballs watching it tonight. There’s a repeat of the show on Nine straight after the State of Origin (to air at approx 10.30pm)

Thank you for posting the individual city numbers. Can’t see it staying in the 7.30pm slot with those numbers. That Brisbane figure is woeful.

The contestants are in a herding sheep contest. What does this have to do with how well they can play rugby league?!?!


are you for real? How else do you get a contract for the NZ Warriors if you can’t herd sheep, bro? :wink:

Just ask our resident sheep-fuc… err Kiwi, @OnAir


How are Mitchel Pearce and Joel Monaghan getting on? :wink:

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It teaches them how to deal with the media pack.


That makes sense.

After all that, and only two of the sixteen clubs wanted to sign the winner. He chose the Canberra Raiders over the Gold Coast Titans. Surprisingly for a live event show it ended almost right on time.

Watched the whole series. It was alright but doesn’t hold a candle to the Recruit. I put most of it down to Brad Fittler who had no charisma. It is a shame that the finale suffered the same drawn out non event feeling that was also the downfall of The Recruit.