Around 30 of the NRL’s best indigenous players, including nib Newcastle Knight Connor Watson, gathered in Sydney for a weekend carnival of rugby league.
Alongside players such as Greg Inglis, Josh Hoffman and Joel Thompson, Watson listened to a series of presentations which included retired Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes.
Players took part in a visit to Taronga Zoo where they surprised kids attending the NRL’s Indigenous Youth Summit, before attending three matches at Redfern Oval on Saturday.
“The camp was good, and it was a pretty cool crew that we had,” Watson told NRL.com.
“It’s a good experience to come in and learn about their culture.
“We don’t get to learn much of it in today’s society and it has been really cool just to be taught some stuff that I had no idea about.”
Watson even got to participate in some traditional activities.
“I’ve thrown a spear but I’ve never used the woomera, so it was a bit different,” smiled Watson.
“It’s not like throwing a ball flinging your elbow, it’s a bit different.”
Watson also spoke about his new home in Newcastle and happiness at being a Knight.
“It’s awesome, I love the place,” Watson added.
“It’s a great town with lots of friendly people around and the Club is really building something special, so everyone is working hard, and it’s been a great pre-season.
“We played our first trial the other day against Melbourne and there were some good signs. So, it should be a good year for us.”
Regarding his relationship on the field with former Roosters teammate Mitchell Pearce, Watson said, “He’s awesome... I’ve worked with him for three years now, so it’s been a massive learning curve for me to see the way he trains.
“I’ve learnt a lot from my time watching Pearcey and to be able to play with him, he’s the best halfback in NSW and he’s going to have a massive year this year.
“The first goal is to partner him in the halves and play consistent footy."