Weipa junior chasing NRL dream with Melbourne Storm
FORMER Weipa junior rugby league player Seamus King-Smith is a step closer to his NRL dream after he was invited to train with the Melbourne Storm this summer.
King-Smith is currently in the Northern Pride under-21s team and his older brother Denzel King is in the senior squad.
The 19-year-old grew up in Weipa before boarding at Ipswich Grammar School, where he played rugby union and captained the First XV team in the elite GPS tournament.
A strong runner of the football with excellent vision, King-Smith has been a standout at five-eighth for the Colts team this season.
He was signed by the Storm as part of the NRL club’s First Nations pathways program.
The program was last week launched at Melbourne Storm training by three of its current Indigenous players, including Josh Addo-Carr.
King-Smith was joined by CQ Capras young gun Ammaron Gudgeon to be named as the program’s first participants in front of the playing group.
They will be involved in all pre-season training sessions, team meetings and club events, including the annual Geelong camp, and will have the opportunity to work with coach Craig Bellamy and his coaching staff and alongside the NRL squad.
Storm CEO Justin Rodski said the new Storm First Nations Pathway Program would provide emerging Indigenous talent with the unique opportunity to have a full immersive experience at the club, focusing on professional and personal development, mentoring, elite training and preparation.
“By creating a First Nations talent pathway, and utilising the resources we have here, we hope more Indigenous kids will have NRL careers and hopefully many will be wearing our famous purple jersey,” he said.
“Our recruitment and development staff will identify those players with potential and then they will get an opportunity to be immersed in our club, learning and developing their skills, on and off the field, in an elite environment.”
King-Smith’s parents Garreth and Flo were instrumental in his development as a junior and were often seen at Central Cape Suns training sessions.
It’s understood King-Smith will relocate to Victoria and join the Storm’s development program after the summer finishes.