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Smith hopes for second Koori selection

Mackenzie Book

Central Coast second rower Darcy Smith is excited to represent NSW Koori again after attending the KARI Foundation NSWRL Talented Aboriginal Athlete Program (TAAP) camp at NSWRL’s Centre of Excellence last weekend.

Having attended the three-day camp last year, Smith was then selected to represent the NSW Koori Under 16s team that faced Queensland Murri in the Steve ‘Bear’ Hall Shield in January this year.

Surprised at his selection in last year’s camp, the 16-year-old is keen for a chance at redemption as NSW Koori were defeated 32-10 by the Murri side.

“Last year, I was kind of surprised that I got asked to come here,” Smith said.

“But I just want to play again because last year the Queensland boys flogged us.”

Smith is part of the Central Coast Roosters squad for the 2024 UNE Harold Matthews Cup, having led the Roosters to victory in the SLE Andrew Johns Cup Grand Final earlier this year with a Player of the Match performance. 

The TAAP camp provided 36 young Indigenous players like Smith with training and education to build their knowledge and skills.

The players also had the opportunity to hear from newly-appointed NSW State of Origin coach Michael Maguire.

Maguire provided guidance on how the players could progress in rugby league, placing an emphasis on having a vision.

The camp culminated with the boys divided into two teams for a match, which will help selectors name an Under 17s NSW Koori team later this month to face Queensland early in 2024.

Asked about his own rugby league future, Smith is intent on playing at the highest level.

“I want to play in the NRL,” Smith said.

“I also want to play for NSW and the Indigenous All-Stars. Those are the two big teams I want to play for.”

Smith named Joey Manu and Victor Radley as his favourite NRL players, quite fitting as he hopes to one day play for their club, the Sydney Roosters.

Smith will now wait to see if he is selected for the NSW Koori team for a second time.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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