The Rugby League Players' Association, in conjunction with the NRL, has tipped their mortarboards to a select group of NRL and NRLW players, naming the 2023 RLPA Academic Team of the Year.

Players - both male and female - who are studying outside of their playing commitments are eligible for selection into the team designed to highlight and champion the scholastic achievements and endeavours of elite-level athletes.

As stated by an RLPA statement, players that enrol in, and complete, tertiary courses or involve themselves in work experience are proven to have longer, and more, successful playing careers, as well as find the transition away from the game smoother.

“To be selected in the NRL and NRLW Academic Team of the Year the players must showcase dedication and commitment to managing the on-field demands of professional rugby league, with the off-field demands of post-career development,” said former Sea Eagle, Knight and current RLPA Player Operations & Wellbeing Lead Jamie Buhrer.

“We are incredibly proud of this year's group, as each are role models for current and future players to pursue education across a wide variety of industries while excelling on the football field.”

2023 Academic Team of the Year

Ethan Bullemor - Manly
Bachelor of Advanced Economics (University of Queensland)

Nat Butcher - Sydney
Bachelor of Commerce – Data Analytics (Australian Catholic University)

Shenae Ciesiolka - Brisbane NRLW
Bachelor of Education – PDHPE (University of Southern Queensland)

Yasmin Clydesdale - Newcastle NRLW
Graduate Certificate in Career Development (ACU), Bachelor of Education (University of Newcastle)

Moeaki Fotuaika- Gold Coast
Certificate IV in Youth Work (DaV'ange Training), Certificate IV in Family Intervention (DaV'ange Training)

Reuben Garrick- Manly
Carpentry Apprenticeship (TAFE NSW), Bachelor of Property & Real Estate (Deakin University)

Luke Keary - Sydney
Master of Business Administration (UNSW), Bachelor of Business (ACU), Certificate IV in Fitness (Mission Australia), Certificate IV in Small Business (Elite Athlete Business School)

Blake Lawrie - St George Illawarra
Building Surveying Certificate (College of Professional Development)

Mark Nicholls - The Dolphins
Graduate Certificate of Program Management (Queensland University of Technology), Diploma of Business (Australian Vocational Training Company), Bachelor Of sport Management & Coaching Science (University of Canberra)

Cory Paix - Brisbane
Carpentry Apprenticeship (Housing Industry Australia and Reebuild Constructions)

Kaitlyn Phillips - Gold Coast NRLW
Bachelor of Echocardiography & Cardiac Physiology (Central Queensland University), Bachelor of Paramedicine (Charles Sturt University)

Tayla Predebon - Newcastle NRLW
Bachelor of Physiotherapy (University of Newcastle)

Tyran Wishart - Melbourne
Bachelor of Construction Management & Property (UNSW), Carpentry Apprenticeship (Trades Institute Victoria)