Former New Zealand rugby league representative Jeremy Smith has been accepted to study in the Graduate Commerce Program at the University of Sydney as part of a Rugby League scholarship.
The halfback-come-five-eighth is no stranger to the field, having played for Parramatta Eels, South Sydney and the New Zealand Warriors in the NRL, Wakefield Trinity and Salford City Reds in the European Super League.
“It’s an exciting opportunity,” said Smith, who works as a Case Manager at the Community Justice Program. “I get the chance to study a great business course at a world class University while continuing to compete in rugby league.”
However Smith’s role will not just be on the field, Smith confirmed, “I’ll be assisting as a player and mentor as the club works to advance to the next levels of competition in the NSW Rugby League. Sydney University joined the NSWRL premiership in 1920 as the 11th club alongside the St. George Dragons. It played the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the 1926 NSWRL grand final, so there is plenty of history at the club”.
SURLFC president Chris Kintis said the chance to bring Smith on board was another important step in the club’s aim to play in higher level NSWRL competitions.
“Jeremy has an exemplary record on and off the field and is an ideal role model for the club.” he said. “His role as a mentor will be just as important as his role on the field. Importantly, Jeremy’s NRL experience has been taken into account by the University in awarding him this scholarship. There is a great opportunities for other former professional players to be awarded a similar scholarships if they chose to compete for SURLFC.”
Mr. Kintis said the lure of the club’s new recruit to play again next season would be the 2017 University Rugby League World Cup in Sydney. “Smiths’ selection to compete in that tournament could lead to the club’s first University Blue in some 20 years.” Mr. Kintis said.