It has produced stars such as James Tedesco and Jack Wighton. Former captains include Nathan Cleary and Campbell Graham.
But not every player gets their fairytale ending.
“I wasn’t ready to deal with it until I was probably in my late 20s or early 30s. I didn’t deal with it properly,” said Auremi. “I’ve never been able to replace the feeling of playing rugby league.”
Even though he regained feeling in his arms and legs, and was able to walk, his neurosurgeon ruled out ever playing again.
“He [the neurosurgeon] broke the news to Tim,” said Kerry Auremi, Tim’s mother.
“Speaking from his heart he said ‘you cannot play a contact sport again. It’s too risky’.”
“That road back to health was terrible.”
It’s something Kerry still thinks about because,…