SOME of the kids out on the field might not have known it, but they were in the presence of a rugby league 'Immortal' at Rugby Park, South Grafton, yesterday.
The great Arthur Beetson was one of the faces in the crowd at the Combined High Schools North Coast rugby league trials, where about 70 schoolboys from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie were out to impress selectors.
And, as it turns out, talent scouts from numerous NRL clubs.
Beetson, the seventh player inducted as a rugby league Immortal, was at the trials in his role as a part-time scout for the Wests Tigers.
“There were a couple of talented kids. Only time will tell (if they're good enough),” Beetson said.
South Grafton High School teacher and Southern North Coast zone manager, Matt McKee, said there were also scouts from the Newcastle Knights, Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans and Sydney Roosters at the trials.
“They (the scouts) are a bit tight-lipped about who they are there to watch. They want the kids to play their natural games,” McKee said.
“Some of the kids know they are there to watch them.”
The annual CHS trials bring together the cream of junior rugby league talent on the North Coast, some of whom are already on NRL scholarships.
“What you're seeing here today is of a very high standard,” McKee said.
The Clarence Valley had six representatives yesterday, with six winning selection. Martin Donohoe (Grafton High), Billy Fallon (South High), Zac Robinson (Maclean High) and Scott Geronimi (Maclean High) were picked in the under-15 North Coast side.
Jeff Skeen (Grafton High) and Jordan Walker (Maclean High) made the opens team.
The North Coast teams will play the Hunter in May.