Russell Packer Talks to Rookies

Troy Whittaker Reporter
Tue 10 Dec 2019, 06:00 PM

Having spent a year in jail, Russell Packer knows all too well how things can go badly wrong as an NRL player. The rehabilitated Wests Tigers prop told his story to 89 emerging first-graders at the 2020 Rookie Camp in western Sydney last weekend. The camp, designed for players on their first NRL contracts or train-and-trial deals, was a two-day crash course in social responsibility and managing the pressures faced by elite athletes.

Packer captivated the rookies as he read a powerful letter to his younger self, detailing his rough upbringing and the poor decision-making that culminated in an assault conviction in 2014.

“For Russell to talk about what he experienced and the decisions he made makes it pretty real for the guys,” said NRL wellbeing and engagement programs manager Tony McFadyen. “It just holds so much more weight.”

Great inspiration … to all


Good on you Russell - proud of the way you have turned it around, but more importantly continuing on your efforts to help others that may get into trouble. You save one it will be worth all the effort you are putting in.

Well done!!!


He talked about doing the hard yards - all 42 of them a game😂😂

Sorry - genuinely hoping Packer has a monster year for us.


If he’s now fit, committed and can reproduce anything close to his best form, we will have a real weapon on our hands especially with the likes of Leilua, Garner and Twal alongside him to deal with opposing packs.


Talking the talk, hopefully he follows up with the walking this year.

Its been forgotten how much of a cult hero he became over the first half of 2018. Recapture that form and it gives the pack a shot in the arm

good on you mr packer
adversity will make us or break us
i wish you well in 2020 ill be cheering
for you

@GNR4LIFE said in Russell Packer Talks to Rookies:

Its been forgotten how much of a cult hero he became over the first half of 2018. Recapture that form and it gives the pack a shot in the arm

He was a beast in those first 5 games. We played some seriously good teams too. I believe all of them made the top 8.

last edited by Kazoo Kid

Many are pointing fingers at Packer in 2019 …I think that some of that was due to a different role from Madge

He was doing heaps off the ball still and if you watch he was the man putting pressure on opposition kickers

You learn a hell of a lot about life jail. Who your real friends are; purpose in life, dreams and goals to cherishing what you have in life. Something as little as a warm shower…in jail you have nothing. Gotta take bird baths etc

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