The AIS Rugby League Scholarship program helps athletes develop their strength, reflexes and power in order to play this tough, physical sport. Established in 2001 with the Australian Rugby League, the AIS program works to provide a pathway for young rural and regional players in Years 11 and 12, so that they’re not in a position where they must leave home to pursue a career in football. With up to 30 player in each year’s program, selections are based on schoolboy and club representative performance. Selected players attend a training camp in Canberra and embark on an international tour of France and the United Kingdom.
Early restrictions prevented the AIS Rugby League program from selecting players in the NSW junior representative areas, and some parts of Queensland. But in 2004 the AIS and QAS came to an agreement that the AIS/ARL program would have 14 places for Queensland players on a yearly tour to England, and these players would also be included in the tour to France along with NSW and other state players selected for the tour.
Played between two teams of 13 players, Rugby League has two 45 minute halves, with the possibility for extra time in the case of injury and other play stoppages. Played on a rectangular grass field, the two teams attempt to score tries by grounding the ball in the in goal of their opponents, and kicking the ball over the crossbar of their opponent’s goal. Tackling players to prevent them from successfully passing or kicking the ball to a team mate is a key point of defence.
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