Rocky's rugby star shares skills with CQ's young talent
RUGBY UNION: Rockhampton's rugby star Duncan Paia'aua selflessly spent his 23rd birthday helping foster the development of the game in Central Queensland.
The 23-year-old was a guest at the Bushrangers Pathway Program's training session at Rockhampton Grammar on Saturday.
He cast a discerning eye over the region's new generation of talent as about 70 boys and girls, aged 12 to 16, were put through their paces.
Paia'aua said he was happy to be back in Rockhampton, where his amazing rugby career started.
"I know there's a lot of talent here and hopefully we can unearth some of it and they can go onto higher honours,” he said.
Paia'aua has had little time to reflect on his incredible 2017, in which he led Queensland Country to its maiden National Rugby Championship and also debuted for the Wallabies.
He is obviously hoping the New Year can deliver similar success and that all starts with securing a place in the Queensland Reds starting 15 each week.
Pathways Program co-coach Jacob Rauluni, a former rugby international and Queensland Reds player, said it was fantastic to have Paia'aua at the training session.
"Duncan's an amazing young man and we were lucky and very honoured to have him here.
"It's great for us and for the region that he wants to be involved with grass-roots rugby.”
Rauluni said he was heartened that the Pathway Program, which is free and delivered fortnightly, had been embraced so positively by players, parents and coaches across CQ.
"We're really stoked about the way it's going,” he said.
"The numbers we've been getting at each of the sessions are a great indicator that young players are enthusiastic about the game and want to be involved.
"It's all about developing their skills, encouraging participation and preparing them for the next level of competition.”