You may not recognise him out of his Panthers jersey, but the guy standing in the foreground of the photo above is NSW Cup Captain Nathan Smith working on-site at Sportingbet Stadium, as part of his apprenticeship with HIX Electrical.

He is one of many Penrith players who, when they’re not playing or training, spend their time either working or studying.

This year, 23 players have started University degrees or College Pathways Programs. This is made possible through the Graduates of League Program, with many of our boys on campus at UWS and UWS College.

Wellington Albert –Business and Commerce

Brendan Attwood – Health and Movement

Liam Ayoub – Clinical Studies Physiotherapy

Matt Boss – Health and Movement

Reagan Campbell-Gillard – Policing

Tom Eisenhuth – Health Science

Fairouz Elkander – Nursing

Naya Freeman – Health and Science PDHPE

Tim Grant – Policing

Jordan Hall – Nursing

Andrew Hart – Health Science

Jackson Hill – Business and Commerce (property)

Josh Jay – Medical Science

Leilani Latue – Primary Education

Kierran Moseley – Social Studies

Matt Robinson – Commerce and Management

Andy Saunders – Health and Science PDHPE

Pat Schiller – Social Science

Chris Smith - Arts (Primary Teaching)

Josh Tangitau – Exercise Sports Science

Junior Wari – Engineering

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak – Health and Movement

Isaah Yeo – Education

A number of our players are also working their way through Traineeships or Apprenticeships. From the NRL squad, Sika Manu is doing a Tattoo Apprenticeship, Tom Humble is doing an Electrical Apprenticeship and Nathan Smith is doing and Electro Technology Apprenticeship. We couldn’t do this without the support of employers, who are willing to take our boys on, and work their hours around training.

And finally, a lot of players in our Under 20’s and NSW Cup squads are holding down full time or part time jobs, on top of their playing commitments.

The NRL and Panthers hope that by encouraging players to work or study throughout their rugby league career, it will set them up for a successful life after footy.