Romelo Loving Indigenous Experience
Thursday 7 February 2013 9:50 AM
Bulldogs utility Joel Romelo is taking part in one of the best weeks of his life as he prepares to play in his first Rugby League All-Stars match as part of the Indigenous side.
Romelo was over the moon when selected for the Indigenous side and immediately stopped talking to fellow Bulldog Josh Morris who was chosen in the NRL All-Stars side.
“I immediately put a ban on myself from talking to Josh, I didn’t want to give anything away,” Romelo joked. “It was great news when I heard that I’d been selected and a very proud moment.”
The week started with an Indigenous Camp that was held in Brisbane with all indigenous players from across the game.
“It was great, I learnt so much. I must be honest and say that I didn’t know too much about the tribe that I am from or the heritage around it, it was great to learn more about the aboriginal people in general.
When Romelo arrived at his first training session with the side he quickly realised some of the talent that he was surrounded by and was sure to use the experience to gain any tips that he could.
“The skills of some of these guys in the team and across the game is unbelievable.
“We have some classy players at the Bulldogs but getting to run alongside guys like (Jonathan) Thurston and (Greg) Inglis is a bit surreal. Just the little things that they do, we were just mucking around before training and the flick passes and so on that they do are things I’ve never seen before.”
Away from the field, the week as been just as much about getting out in the community and seeing the young kids that love the game of rugby league but also an opportunity to catch up with old friends.
“I’m actually rooming with Jake Foster who I am good mates with from when he was at the Bulldogs, so are enjoying the catch up but I must admit as well that I’ve met a number of good blokes this week and will definitely stay in contact with.”
With a training free day today and a final session tomorrow (Friday), the Redcliffe junior knows that whatever fun they have been having is over and the game face is switched on getting ready for Saturday night.
“I’m not 100% on what role I’ll play as yet but from the small discussions I have had I will probably be playing a bit of a utility role and switching between hooker and lock.”
The All-Stars match will be played on Saturday night, 9 February, at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Coverage will begin on Channel 9 from 7.30pm (Sydney) and 6.30pm (Brisbane).
The Bulldogs will have three players involved in the match with Ben Barba and Joel Romelo in the Indigenous side and Josh Morris playing for the NRL All-Stars.