Ollie Olds

The allure of playing in the NRL reaches far and wide and it is has showed, with Ollie Olds, a young Welsh halfback playing for the South Wales Scorpions taking an opportunity to sign and play for Queensland Cup side the Ipswich Jets, with the aim of one day playing in the NRL.

Olds, who is 19 years old, has had his move funded by the parent side of the Jets, NRL club the Brisbane Broncos and is keen to play NRL.

He comes with experience at just 19, having played for the Welsh U16 and U18 teams, before making his full international debut for the Welsh rugby league side against France at Wrexham last year.

It was earlier this year when Olds signed with the Scorpions after Leeds axed their U20’s side, but Olds and the club agreed that if and when a better opportunity came along, that he would take it – something he has now done.

Despite such an agreement, however, Olds was not expecting an offer from an Australian club to come so soon.

“Brisbane Broncos have paid for the flights and I’m signing when I arrive this week,” said Olds.

“They’ve sorted out work and accommodation for me and I’ll be signing for Ipswich Jets, the feeder side to the Broncos, when I arrive in Australia this week.

“Because I’m only 19, I can still play for Brisbane Broncos under 20s so my aim is to get into that side eventually.”

The move, whilst coming quicker than he had expected, came about after a chat with duo Haydn Peacock James Tuituila, with Tuituila convincing him to send in a tape of his play to the Ipswich Jets, hoping for a 2014 berth at the club.

“I was speaking to the Aussie boys, Haydn Peacock and James Tutuila at the Scorpions and I told them that I’d love to play in Australia perhaps next season,” he said.

“James gave me the email address of the Ipswich Jets chairman and I then sent them a DVD in the hope I’d go down there in 2014.

“But he called me and asked me to come down there straight away so I’m taking it.

“I also want to try and get into the Wales squad for the World Cup later this year. There are a lot of Welsh qualified half-backs who play at a high level than me, so if I’m playing in the Queensland Cup, that’ll help me improve my game.

“I’d like to thank the Scorpions for releasing me, the Scorpions fans for all they’ve done to support me and to Paul Hart Photography for sponsoring me at the Scorpions this season.”

Whilst Scorpions head coach Dave Clark is sad to see the talented Welsh half leave, he wishes him all the best in his opportunity down-under.

“We wish Ollie all the best in his career down under. We’re sorry to lose him but we obviously can’t stand in his way as this is a great opportunity to further his career.

“It’ll also be good for the Wales side to have one of their players turning out at a higher level than any side in the UK outside of Super League. All the best to him and I hope he progresses well. My big problem now is to replace him.”

By ricky

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