The Rugby League community is set for a weekend of entertainment as the NRL and clubs band together for RiseForAlex Round (Round 19, 18 – 21 July).
All clubs hosting matches are planning special activities to support injured Knights forward Alex McKinnon.
This Saturday when the Storm meet the Raiders, AAMI Stadium will play host to The Voice finalists C Major, Elly Oh, Soli Tesema and Julian Simonsz who will perform for fans.
AAMI Park has committed to donating an additional dollar for every supporter that attends Melbourne’s home game tomorrow.
The SCG Trust and Allianz Stadium will also contribute one dollar for every person who attends the Sydney Roosters v Penrith Panthers match.
With three grades playing from 10.40am, Roosters and Panthers fans will be able to visit the new Sydney Live Plaza in the Trust Precinct where there'll be giveaways and activities for all the family to enjoy with a carnival-like atmosphere throughout the day.
On Sunday The Wiggles perform before the game at ANZ Stadium between the Wests Tigers and Bulldogs in preparation for their national BIG SHOW! Tour in November and December.
A special entertainment precinct will be set up at Alex’s home ground at Hunter Stadium on Sunday, with performances by Jessica Mauboy, Jai Waetford and Taylor Henderson as well as rides, free skills clinics and family entertainment.
The NRL will donate one dollar for every fan who attends any game during Round 19 to the RiseForAlex Fund.
NRL Club ticketed members and fans who buy a ticket to any NRL game over the weekend can gain free entry to the Wests Tigers v Bulldogs match at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
ANZ Stadium will also donate an additional dollar for every Stadium Member and their guests who attend Sunday’s game, while all proceeds from a giant
pre-game barbecue will also go to the RiseForAlex Fund.
NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith said, “We are hoping for an enormous turn out from the Rugby League community during RiseForAlex Round.
“Fans can make a contribution by simply turning up to watch their favourite team as the NRL will donate one dollar for every person who attends a game.
“So I encourage everyone to support their team and at the same time make a difference.”
A range of charity auctions will also be held at games throughout RiseForAlex Round.
Items include a one-off Number 16 RiseForAlex Cronulla Sharks jersey signed by the Cronulla Sharks squad and Dragons star Trent Merrin’s 100th game day boots. There will be signed player jerseys up for auction.
Wayne Bennett’s signed match ball from his 700th game will be up for auction.
RiseForAlex Fund Chair Terry Lawler said: “The amount of support that all clubs have shown is incredible. It shows the strength and solidarity of the Rugby League community who join together to support one of their own.
“With such great entertainment available, it really is a fantastic opportunity to watch a game and support young Alex McKinnon.”
RiseForAlex wristbands will also be on sale at all matches during Round 19 and 20.
A full schedule of activity across each game over the round is below.
Friday, 18 July
Cronulla v North Queensland at Remondis Stadium
• The Cronulla Sharks will wear a one off RiseForAlex jersey during the match. The number 16 jersey will then be signed by the entire playing squad and auctioned off.
• Game day interview with legend Ben Ross
• Johnathan Thurston will wear a special number 16 jersey during the match in tribute to Alex whose number 16 jersey was retired from the Knights following his injury
Parramatta v South Sydney at Pirtek Stadium
• RiseForAlex Fund Director Davis Stockwell will officially launch the round with an interview at Pirtek Stadium
Saturday, 19 July
Sydney Roosters v Penrith Panthers at Allianz Stadium
• The SCG Trust and Allianz Stadium will donate one dollar for every fan attending the match to the RiseForAlex Fund
Melbourne Storm v Canberra Raiders at AAMI Park
• AAMI Park will donate one dollar for every fan attending the match to the RiseForAlex Fund
• Storm Captain Cam Smith will wear the number 16 Jersey for Alex McKinnon
• The Voice finalists C Major, Elly Oh, Soli Tesema and Julian Simonsz will perform live
Brisbane v Warriors at Suncorp Stadium
• An auction will be held to raise funds for the RiseForAlex Fund, including an Auckland Warriors jersey will be up for auction
Sunday, 20 July
Newcastle v Gold Coast at Hunter Stadium
• Dedicated entertainment precinct from 11am with rides, skills clinics and family entertainment
• Performances by Jessica Mauboy, Jai Waetford and Taylor Henderson
• Alex McKinnon attending the match
Wests Tigers v Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium
• Any NRL Club ticketed member can access this game for free
• Fans who have purchased a ticket to any game during Round 19 can attend the match for free
• The Wiggles will do a special performance at 2:30pm before the game, ahead of their BIG SHOW! Tour in November and December
• Family Fun Day activities including jumping castles, face painters, balloon artists, petting zoos and more
Monday, 21 July
St George Illawarra v Manly at Jubilee Oval
• Trent Merrin will auction his 100th game boots for the RiseForAlex Fund
• St George Junior League volunteers will be manning RiseForAlex gold coin bucket collections at the ground