Greinke slams league schools
WITH his son powering through the ranks of schoolboy football, the man who prepared Greg Inglis for the NRL has slammed the way high schools develop rugby league's next generation.
Gary Greinke, former Queensland Cup coach of the Ipswich Jets and the Norths Devils, said elite rugby league schools in Queensland were putting their teenagers' rugby league development ahead of their education.
But Greinke said Ipswich's own elite league nursery St Peter Claver College, where his son Brett captains their open side, was one of few schools who were not holding back their students' life development.
He said schools featured in the prestigious Arrive Alive Cup rugby league national competition were convincing juniors to take Year 12 over two years so they could represent the school as better developed 18-year-olds.
“It's a disgraceful practice and it happens too often. These kids should be working, finding out about life, not still in school playing against guys two years younger than them,” Greinke said.
“The schools do it for their reputation, not for the kids.”
A current junior coach at Centenary, Greinke is a mentor for several league juniors, scouts for NRL clubs and does consultancy work for Queensland Rugby League.
“I coached two 14-year-olds a couple of years ago who had to take a bus and two trains to get to Keebra Park State High everyday and by the time they came home, they were exhausted,” Greinke said.
“They were not paying attention in class because they were so tired.
“They all had NRL scholarships at the time, but none of them are playing now.
“It shouldn't happen.
“When I was involved in coaching Wavell (State High), they had many blokes staying for what is essentially a Year 13 and it just doesn't help them.”
“The NRL clubs don't help either. They give the kids all these wild ideas about making the NRL and most of them never come close.”
Greinke coached Greg Inglis, a former Wavell student, in his debut year in the Queensland Cup.
Greinke said St Peter Claver College deserved to be congratulated for the way they had taught his son, who represented the Queensland under-16 indigenous side last year.
“Brett plays everything from front row to fullback and has really come on in the last year,” Greinke said.
“He has never been a superstar but seems to now be finding his way in the game and hopefully he keeps improving.”