Kyle Schaberg is proof that good things can be achieved by overcoming adversity.
The 27-year-old Manly supporter was a special guest at Sea Eagles training at Narrabeen today, just a few weeks ahead of making his debut for the Australian Physical Disability rugby league team.
And if his passion for the Sea Eagles is any indication of how the full-back will perform, then Australia will be hard to beat at the Commonwealth Championships. Their opponents will be New Zealand, and a Commonwealth All-Stars team.
NSWRL Physical Disability Rugby League Association (NSWPDRLA) Director Marco Quintao says Kyle is a quality person.
“When he was young, Kyle had a few operations that didn’t go well. The vocal cord in his throat was cut, leaving him without a voice,’’ Quintao said.
“We communicate with Kyle though sign language and texts messages. But he is an incredible person who loves rugby league, and more importantly, the Sea Eagles.”
Kyle’s stats on the field are certainly impressive, having scored 89 tries and kicking 46 goals in 71 games for 448 career points.
Named the NSWRL Physical Disability Player of the Year in 2012 and 2016, Kyle was also the leading point scorer, tryscorer and goal-kicker in 2014 and 2016.
“Kyle averages around three to four tries a game. We call him ‘The Gazelle’ because of his blistering speed at full-back.”
Quintao says Kyle loves watching his idol Tom Trbojevic play. The pair embraced after training with Kyle’s smile as wide as the playing field they stood on.
Kyle will continue his preparations with the Australian team for the Commonwealth Championships to be held on the Gold Coast from February 21-25. Former Wests Tigers forward Shaun Spence is the Australian Coach with ex-Penrith hooker Kevin Kingston the assistant coach.
And as for meeting the Sea Eagles players, Quintao says it meant the world to Kyle.
“When I text him about it, he couldn’t understand why Manly wanted to meet him, and that he was going to see Tom,’’ Quintao added.
“On the way back after training, Kyle had tears of happiness. On behalf of the NSW Physical Disability Rugby League, I would like to thank the Manly Sea Eagles for all their support.”
Established in 2010, the NSWPDRLA runs a competition for those with physical disabilities. Manly Sea Eagles, Newtown Jets, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Sydney Roosters, and the Wests Tigers field teams in the competition
Apart from Kyle, Manly will also be represented by Dylan Jobson (Australian team), Rylee Lowe (Commonwealth All Stars) and Bow Lennon (Commonwealth All Stars) at the championships. Nova Employment are the team’s sponsor.
The Sea Eagles wish Kyle all the very best for the championships and have proudly donated a signed team jersey for the NSWPDRLA charity golf day at Twin Creeks Golf Club on Friday, February 9, to help raise funds.