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Alumni Diaries

Kobe Hetherington 2021 Debut

Kobe Hetherington

NRL Player, Brisbane Broncos


Once a proud member of The Cathedral College's graduating class of 2016, Kobe Hetherington has emerged as a prominent figure in the rugby league world for the Brisbane Broncos. Kobe's journey from a spirited graduate to a professional athlete serves as a testament to his unwavering dedication and passion for the game.

As the son of rugby league legend Jason Hetherington, Kobe's destiny in the world of rugby league seemed inevitable. His footy days began at just five years of age in Baralaba, later moving to Rockhampton. In 2016, Kobe captained our Confraternity Team alongside his twin brother, Zac. His persistent energy, leadership and physicality that he brought to the field left an indelible mark on our rugby league team for years to come. Teammates remember him as “tough as nails” and “the ultimate competitor”.

TCC Confraternity Team 2016

Kobe represented the College in 2016 at the Confraternity Shield Carnival.

Kobe recalls his school footy days as some of his best memories. 

"Playing in a Schoolboys grand final at Browne Park was and still is a proud moment. Having the entire school behind you as you run through the tunnel and getting to do it with your best mates is something I love about the game.”

“It doesn’t matter if it’s an NRL Grand Final or Under 12s, it means a lot,” he said.

Just five days after graduating from school, Kobe made the move down to Brisbane to pursue rugby league whilst juggling a carpentry apprenticeship. After a few seasons of semi-professional football, Kobe secured a contract with the Brisbane Broncos, where he continued to build upon the foundation laid during his time at The Cathedral College.

However, Kobe's rise through the ranks was not without its challenges. 

"I just had to bide my time. It's a pretty tough environment when you're just training and not getting any game time. There were a few times where I thought about giving footy away. Dad just told me to hang in there, dig deep, and it will all be worth it. I worked hard, got my opportunity and didn’t look back,” he said.

In Round 11 of the 2021 season, Kobe made his debut for the Brisbane Broncos against the Sydney Roosters. Kobe’s swift adaptation to the intensity of the NRL saw him play each week from then on. His performances drew the attention of fans and experts alike, earning him accolades that culminated in the Brisbane Broncos NRL Rookie of the Year award in 2021.

Kobe Hetherington, Rookie of the Year

Kobe received the Cyril Connell Award for Brisbane Broncos Rookie of the Year in 2021.

Since his debut, Kobe has proven his worth, reaching the milestone of 50 NRL games in July 2023 and an appearance in the 2023 NRL Grand Final.

Kobe's journey is a source of immense pride for our College, inspiring current students and illustrating the heights that can be reached with hard work and resilience. Mr Mick Busby, Director of Sports at the College remembers him as a stand-out player.

"He just understood the game so well for a young player and was a great leader. He loved to do the hard work. His work ethic set a great example for the team," Mick said.

When recalling his TCC footy days, Kobe shared his gratitude for the people who helped him on this pathway.

All of my coaches at TCC played a big role in my footy journey and I am very grateful for that."

- Kobe Hetherington

As The Cathedral College celebrates Kobe's accomplishments, we eagerly anticipate the continued success of him in the NRL and beyond. We look forward to witnessing the next chapter in Kobe's promising career and cheering him on as he continues to make his mark in the rugby league world.

Kobe shared a message for all those who pull on the blue and green jersey.


“Cherish your school footy days, because they are some of the best memories I have ever made.” 

Kobe Hetherington, Brisbane Broncos
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