THE New South Wales Blues have locked in a date to hold an open training session at Lismore ahead of the final State of Origin Series game in Brisbane.
The Blues will be at Oakes Oval on July 5, just eight days before the third game of the series at Suncorp Stadium.
Some of the biggest names in rugby league will be there including NSW captain James Tedesco and premiership-winning Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary.
The visit was pencilled in by NSW Rugby League after the first flood in February.
Coach Brad Fittler and his advisor Greg Alexander visited Lismore just days after the 2020 series.
Alexander sat down with Tim Gilbert (see video) to preview the series on the NSW Rugby League Podcast Behind Blue Eyes.
"NSW Rugby League is proud of its community ties and is dedicated to provide ongoing support for flood-affected areas around our great state," NSWRL Chief Commercial Officer Jodie Cross said.
"The town of Lismore has been through so much with the horrendous floods and we wanted to ensure they have the full support of the rugby league community.
"The NSW Blues have always had a strong connection to the community and are looking forward to coming to Lismore in July to spread some cheer and do whatever we can to help the town get back on its feet."
The NSW Rugby League announced a flood relief package worth more than $600,000 to assist communities across the state, particularly in northern NSW,
About 30 clubs and 4700 players have benefited from the package this season
It included a $300,000 fund to replace items including jerseys, shorts, socks, footballs, tackle pads and goal posts; the total cost of insurance of all clubs in the affected areas worth an estimated $217,380; and a $100,000 pledge to a whole of game fund in conjunction with the NRL and Queensland Rugby League.
Former Sydney Roosters and NSW captain Boyd Cordner was joined by NRL legends Nathan Hindmarsh and Steve Menzies during a recent visit to the Lismore showground.
Former Dally M medallist Preston Campbell has also been active in the community with the Gold Coast Titans who have done a number of school visits.
"The communities which have been affected have a rich history of playing Rugby League and have produced many wonderful players including Cody Walker, James Roberts, Matt King and Ben Kennedy," NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said.
"The NSWRL wants to do whatever it can to assist them in getting back on to the field as Community Rugby League is the lifeblood of our game and will always have an important role to play.
"A similar relief package (went to) clubs on the NSW south coast which had been affected by bushfires in 2020 which included funding insurance premiums, supplying all football requirements and donating $250,000 of football boots."
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