Meredith lauds WARL standard of play

Having enjoyed an eight year playing career in Rugby League with Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in the NRL, and Halifax in the English Championship, Martin Meredith has a unique worldview of the way Rugby League should be played.

In his new role as Participation Manager the former five-eighth brings with him a wealth of experience not only from these playing days but also from an experienced career as a development officer with the National Rugby League.

During a visit for the National U-12’s championships, Meredith spoke with to provide a bit of insight into just what his role involves.

“Participation is a new unit for the NRL, it didn’t exist up until 8 months ago,” he said.

“With the restructure of development just before Christmas, the league set up a program and I was fortunate enough to look after that participation unit”

“It looks after programs such as junior programs, senior programs, school programs and then other areas of the game – the women’s game but also indigenous and wheelchair activities as well”

Visiting Ken Allen Field for the Round 20 Cash Converters Premiership clash between the Fremantle Roosters and Rockingham Sharks, Meredith admitted that the Western Australian Rugby League showcased a good quality of on field play.

““I’ve been over here on another project as well – the school program – they have a national U-12’s school program down the road in Rockingham… While I was in town, I wanted to see some club football as well, it is part of my role,” he said with a smile.

“I wanted to come along and see what the standard of play was like, I was impressed by both teams”

“I was impressed by the standard of play, it was comparable to A-Grade level in Sydney which is sound and I think they should be commended.”

But it wasn’t just the play that Meredith was interested in during his visit to Ken Allen Field, as his passion for Rugby League showed that he was keen to keep an eye out on how the league could improve things for the game out west.

“The other area I was probably looking at was the facilities, what type of facilities you (the WARL) have got, and the NRL… if we could help some way, we could assist some of the clubs,” he said.

Meredith also credits his experience on the playing field as a contributing factor to his success in adapting to a role off the paddock.

“I think playing has helped me personally in my role and I’ve now been involved in an admin role with the game since 1982,” he said.

“I think if you have the knowledge of the game, its advantageous at times… I’ve been involved in it for the long haul, I’ve enjoyed it and I still do.”

Despite his three decades of experience in an administration role with the National Rugby League, Meredith also acknowledged that the field was a dynamic one.

“The industry’s changing at the moment, you’ve got to be more business orientated as well… and you’ve got to be able to make clear decisions as well, “ he said.