Russell Packer - OFFICIAL..

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Re: Russell Packer - OFFICIAL..

Post by GNR4LIFE » Sun 27 Aug, 2017 8:05 pm

Nucky Thompson wrote:
Sun 27 Aug, 2017 7:56 pm
Does anyone know if his injured and if so what's wrong with him.
Knee injury. Should be back next week.

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Post by Geo. » Sun 22 Oct, 2017 3:02 pm

From troubled past, Russell Packer becomes an inspiration
Last updated 05:00, October 22 2017

Russell Packer wants this World Cup to leave a legacy in New Zealand.

Playing at the Rugby League World Cup for the Kiwis is another step towards redemption for Russell Packer.

His well-publicised journey is the stuff movies get made about and if they were to make one of his life the perfect final scene would be of him lifting the World Cup in Brisbane in six weeks' time.

With one hand on it, he'd pause cheering for a moment, spot his family in the crowd, climb through the stand and give them teary-eyed hugs. Roll credits and wait for the Oscar nominations to come in.

Without going over old ground again, Packer was a sensational young player and made his NRL debut for the Warriors at 19, getting into the Kiwis two years later.

But there was a part of Packer that didn't fit with the life of a professional athlete and 2013 he went off the rails and was sentenced to two years in prison for assault.

Thankfully, he's rebuilt his life since then and after two great years playing for the Dragons, he's picked up a contract at the Wests Tigers from next season.

He's also made it back into the Kiwis this year, so while in a way he's come full circle, he's got a totally different perspective this time.

"Obviously I'm a lot older now and had a fair bit of life experience," Packer said.

"I was 21 back then and I've matured as you do when you get older.

"The time that I spent on that tour (2011 Four Nations in England) is different to how I spend my time now, I'm soaking it up now and enjoying the experience.

"You never can count on being in a Kiwis jersey and you never know when the next time is."

That next time is likely to be against Samoa at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday for the Kiwis' opening game of the World Cup.

Given Packer's high-profile story, he could be held up as a role model for someone who's been able to turn their life around.

He has shown that no matter how bad things get or how many poor decisions a person has made, they can still go down a different path.

But does Packer want to be seen as an inspiration? Does he want to continually relive his mistakes for the betterment of others?

"The history is the history," he said.

"A lot of people want to rewrite their own, but the fact is you can't.

"I went through what I went through and I feel like I've come out the other side a better person for it.

"I've learned from the errors that I've made as a man and I strive not to be in any position where that could occur again.

"Whether or not people want to look at what I've done, I don't know.

"I talk to the media because it's a requirement of what I do, but I wouldn't naturally ask to do stories about it.

"The story I have so far is of a young kid growing up in a country town who was good at rugby league and made a lot of mistakes along the way.

"I paid the price to society for them and I've worked hard to try to improve my life and to be a better person for my kids and my partner.

"Whether people want to take motivation from it and see it as a feel good story, I don't know.

"Hopefully it can impact someone, that if they've done the wrong thing they can accept the responsibility for it and know that there will be another opportunity down the path that will pop up and give the chance to do the right things.

"I guess I'm living proof of that."

Packer's reticence at being any sort of a figurehead is of course his own choice and it's slightly different to that of his former Warriors team-mate Suaia Matagi.

Matagi became involved in gangs in Auckland when a teenager and was sentenced to three years in prison at the age of 17 for attacking two boys.

He turned his life around and does work in communities to help prevent other youngsters making the same mistakes. He has even wrote a play which he performs on stage.

"Suaia's story is a great story to be told and I admire him," Packer said.

"Like me, Suaia made mistakes in his youth and paid a price to society as I did.

"He has strived to be a better man every day since then and you have to admire that.

"The past is the past and you have to look to the future and doing the right things helps."

As well as success on the field at the World Cup, Packer hopes the Kiwis can inspire youngsters to take up the sport.

It's so rare that the New Zealand league team get to play on home soil and Packer would love it if over the next month they can capture the imagination of the country's youth.

"I think we've got a great opportunity to encourage kids who are 10 or around that to want to play league and represent this country in it," he said.

"That's something you don't think about when you're a young [professional] player, you don't understand that side of what rugby league and representing your country means to people.

"When I was younger, I just cared about playing rugby league, but now I still love playing the game, but there's also the other side of things, encouraging people to take a pathway where they can be successful at rugby league, based on how they conduct themselves and what they do on the field."

And if any of these youngsters are looking for an example in how to conduct themselves, they'd learn more than a thing or two by watching Packer over this World Cup. ... nspiration
Ivan's Laws

1. You are either on the Bus or you are off..
2. The Star of the Team is the Team
3. Be the player your teammates want to play with..
Tiger Watto wrote:
Fri 03 Nov, 2017 8:07 am
Geo nailed it...

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