Travis and Reece Robinson are encouraging First Nation Goannas players to use next weekend's match against Newcastle to push for an NRL contract, after the twins struggled to secure their own careers.
Reece, who played 13 matches for the Broncos in 2008, had to wait another two years before getting another run in the NRL with Canberra, while Travis' journey has been even harder, and the Storm recruit admits he thought he would never make it. In fact, Travis quit the game after suffering a horrific ankle injury in 2006. He moved to Alice Springs, then returned to play two years in the local Canberra competition before getting an opportunity with Penrith in 2012.
Travis, who made his NRL debut aged 24, encouraged others who have not secured contracts not to give up, including those in the First Nation Goannas team who joined their NRL counterparts in the Hunter Valley on Saturday. ''I have overcome injuries,'' he said. ''I left the game for a bit and came back so I am just grateful that I got the opportunity to do what I am doing now.
''Hopefully the Goannas boys, who are in that situation at the moment, can do the same. This is a big opportunity for them next week coming up against the Newcastle Knights, so if anyone goes good, there will be teams watching them.''
While Travis worked with schoolchildren in Alice Springs, Reece was playing on the wing for the Broncos, but he played only one season and could not start elsewhere until then Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett recommended him to Canberra.
Since 2010, he has played 67 matches for the Raiders, but it was during last season that he established himself as a star after taking over as fullback following the sacking of Josh Dugan. But he is unsure whether he will stay at No.1 under Canberra coach Ricky Stuart. ''I would love to be in the No.1 jersey again but I will just be happy to be in the team,'' Reece said. ''I love playing the game, so I just want to get on the field.''
The brothers attended their second NRL indigenous players leadership camp at the weekend and said being around Greg Inglis, Timana Tahu, Nathan Merritt and Willie Tonga, among others, had given them increased confidence.