England and St Helens forward Alex Walmsley says live coverage of Kingstone Press National Conference League games on FreeSports TV will give missed talent a way back into the professional game.
Walmsley earned a trail at Batley in 2012 after winning the 2011 NCL Player of the Year award and has since gone on to become one of the world's best forwards.
Following last night’s announcement that the NCL has secured a two-year live broadcasting deal with Rugby AM and FreeSports, more players will now have a chance to showcase themselves to a free-to-air TV audience
“It’s a fantastic concept and I think it’s great that Rugby AM are supporting it as much as they can, “ said Walmsley. “It is a great standard and there are a lot of players there who play in these leagues that I feel can kick on.
“There are many examples of players who have gone on and done it. It’s great that the league is finally getting the publicity it deserves, you never know because there are obviously a few kids playing here that have played in academies but have not made the boat into the first team and dropped back to this sort of level.
“This gives them the opprtunity to kick on again and make that root back to the professional game.”
Speaking about his rise to the top, the 27-year-old says he has fond memories of playing in the NCL for Dewsbury Celtic and hopes more players can follow in his footsteps.
“It’s been crazy, my last game for Dewsbury Celtic was in January 2012 in a Yorkshire winter league game against Birstall Victoria, it has been mad,” he said.
“There is nothing better than turning up on Tuesday and Thursday nights and training with your mates then playing on a Saturday and having a few beers afterwards in the club house.
“It really is amazing and I have got so many fond memrories of my time there, both on and off the field. This gives them the opportunity to kick on again and make that root back to the professional game.”