NRL invites for Ippy High stars
IT WILL be a tough ask handing out awards at the Ipswich State High sports presentation night on Friday.
With six of the school's firsts rugby league team gaining NRL trials or contracts they will be hard to split.
Leading the charge is rampaging second rower Faitotoa Faitotoa who will be heading with brother Matthew to Newcastle once school finishes for the year.
Faitotoa played SG Ball for the Knights this year, commuting back and forth between Ipswich and Newcastle.
His experience convinced him to remain with the club and get his brother along for the ride.
"I love the club," he said of the Knights.
"They're good people.
"I've made new friends.
"They've looked after me really well."
The Faitotoa brothers' family lives in Auckland, so they were keen to stick together.
"It's hard being away from family," Faitotoa said.
"So it is good I can support Matthew as well."
Teammate Tepa Fuiavailili took part in a three day trial at Cronulla last school holidays.
There were four teams worth of boys and Fuiavailili obviously did enough to impress.
"They said I went alright," the towering prop said.
"There were some differences in skills between the different boys there.
"But all the boys brought something".
He was joined there by fellow ISHS students Elgin Petersen and Thomas Levi.
"It helped being surrounded by people I know," Fuiavailili said.
"It was an opportunity you wanted to take."
Not all the ISHS players who trialled with NRL club recently gained contracts however.
Grade 11 prop Se'e Kali trialled at Newcastle alongside the Faitotoa brothers but wasn't offered a contract.
However the hulking teen has taken it in his stride, determined to make the most of his final year at the school and plan for life after footy.
"It wasn't hard at all," he said of dealing with the disappointment.
"It has motivated me to work hard.
"It will be good to get my studies done before I think about things sporting-wise.
"I need to think where I want to be after I'm 30.
"I want to be a policeman and work with youth."
ROAD TO SUCCESS
NRL club contracts for ISHS students
- Faitotoa Faitotoa: Newcastle Knights - 2 years
- Matthew Faitotoa: Newcastle Knights - 2 years
- Tepatasi Fuiavailili: Cronulla Sharks - 2 years
- Thomas Levi: Cronulla Sharks - 2 years
- Tristan Sami: Melbourne Storm - train and trial
- Elgin Petersen: Newcastle Knights - train and trial