World Team Player Profile: James Rene

James Rene (third from the left) with his World Team teammates last week on the Gold Coast.


This week, in celebration of the AFL’s Multicultural Round, we will be profiling the AFL NSW/ACT players selected in the World Team to play at the recent National Championships on the Gold Coast. First up, we have grounded half-back from Western Sydney, James Rene.

James Rene

How old are you?

I am 14-years-old.

Which high school do you attend?

Cherrybrook Technology High School – Year 9.

Which AFL Club do you play for? 

Northern Lights.

What position to do you play?

Half-back. I love to play half-back because I like to not only defend, but also run off my player on attack – just like Jason Johannisen.

What is your family cultural background?

My mum is South African and my dad is Mauritian, which is an island off of Madagascar.

Did your family migrate to Australia? 

Yes, both my parents migrated to Australia. My mum came to Australia for a better life as South Africa was suffering. My dad on the other hand came to Australia for a better education and lifestyle.

Did you grow up with AFL as a big part of your life?

Growing up I mainly played soccer as a kid, it was only when I was about 8 or 9 that I did Auskick, and from then on I started playing AFL.

How did you become involved with AFL? 

When my parents came to Australia they wanted to find a new sport to watch. AFL was the perfect sport for them. It involves the pace, brutal tackles and continuous efforts of rugby. As well as the high vertical leap and overall hunger for the ball as in basketball. So I began to enjoy the big game.

Which AFL team do you support?

Sydney Swans.

Who is your AFL favourite player?

Role model wise – Adam Goodes. To watch – Cyril Rioli.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

The main pre-game ritual I have is prayer and reflection, which is the time I take a step back and calm my nerves, especially before a big game.

What are your goals in your AFL career?

Firstly, to give it my all in ever single game I play. Even in training, recovery sessions, warm ups, just in all areas I want to have an aspiring mindset. Secondly, I want to set out goals for my self to complete both at games, and the end of the year. Whether it be five spoils, five tackles or ten handballs, I need to impose myself on the game every time.

Tell us something fun about yourself which has nothing to do with football.

I love listening to R’n’B and mainly just rap. My favourite artists would have to be Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Bryson Tiller, Chris Brown, Chance The Rapper, Travis Scott and The Weeknd.

Where is the most interesting place you have ever been?

The most interesting place I’ve ever been to would have to be Mauritius. I saw the lifestyle choices compared to that of living in Australia. Although Mauritius isn’t much of a big country, it is suffering from poverty, so it really opened my eyes to how blessed we are to be in a safe and wealthy country. I got to see how my dad grew up and it changed the way I live. Something as simple as having a meal to eat every night or having long hot showers is something we are all lucky for.

What are you most likely to become famous for?

Dunking on Shaquille O’Neal, simple as that.

What was the last adventure you went on?

The Gold Coast trip with the World Team. The boys had so much fun and it was easily one of the best experiences of my life AFL -wise. The coaches were very professional and helpful and the program itself is amazing.

Who is your ultimate role model and why?

My role model would definitely have to be my brother, Jordan. Even though I play him in FIFA, NBA 2K or Madden (NFL) on the PS4 and always win every single time and he throws tantrums, he’s my brother. I’ve always looked up to him since I was young. He’s a man of God and is a kind and genuine person to anyone he meets. I could be walking around in the shops with him and out of nowhere he will become best friends with a stranger, just because he loves talking so much. Through all the banter and trash talk, Jordan motivates me to become a better player, Christian and overall person. He’s faced many problems as a child and throughout his life, but he has never once given up. That’s what I call a role model. He’s my brother and along with my family, without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.