Warriors to support flood relief efforts

The Warriors have joined forces with other National Rugby League clubs to support relief efforts following Australia’s flooding disaster.

Chief executive Wayne Scurrah said the club will help in a variety of ways hoping to ease some of the suffering in the Queensland communities devastated by the tragedy this month.

“We have a very strong connection with Queensland through the number of players who are in our NRL squad now and many others who have been with the club in the past,” he said.

“We all feel for the people and the communities in Queensland as they try to cope with this disaster, and especially the impact of the lives tragically lost through it.

“We simply want to do what we can to help.”

Providing assistance for the relief effort follows the Warriors’ announcement before Christmas that they would play a charity match against fellow NRL side Newcastle in Greymouth on Saturday, February 5. The event is designed to not only raise funds but to also lift spirits on the South Island’s West Coast after 29 men lost their lives in the Pike River mining tragedy late last year.

The Warriors will spend four days in Greymouth early next month appearing at a number of community events.

“We’re at the stage of the year where football is very much in focus but we naturally share in the grief being felt on both sides of the Tasman at this time,” said Scurrah.

In announcing the club’s contribution towards the flood relief efforts, he said the Warriors would:
- Make a $NZ10,000 donation to the relief fund.
- Assist with local rugby league clubs’ fundraising efforts towards rebuilding by providing signed jerseys for those clubs in towns most affected by the floods.
- Take the entire Warriors’ travelling party to one of the affected towns when the team is in Queensland for one of this season’s away matches against North Queensland (Round 15), Gold Coast (Round 18) or Brisbane (Round 22). During this visit the team would spend time in the community, attend a local rugby league fundraising event and stay in the nominated town for an evening.
- Carry out bucket collections at the Warriors’ trials against Parramatta in Rotorua on February 12, against the Burleigh Bears in Whangarei on February 19 and against Manly at North Harbour Stadium on February 26.
- Carry out a bucket collection at the Warriors’ NRL season-opening game against Parramatta at Eden Park on March 12.

In addition, Scurrah said the Warriors would be keen to support other NRL initiatives which may be planned.

Of the Warriors’ 2011 NRL squad, vice-captain Micheal Luck, centre Joel Moon, new signing Shaun Berrigan, halfback Brett Seymour and former State of Origin back rower Jacob Lillyman are all Queenslanders while forward Steve Rapira spent the last two seasons with the Cowboys in Townsville before returning home.

Luck hails from the small town of Gatton, west of Brisbane. Situated in the Lockyer Valley, it was one of the hardest-hit communities.

“It has been frightening being here in New Zealand and seeing what has been happening at home, just terrible,” he said.

“Thankfully my family was unharmed but that hasn’t made it any easier coming to terms with it all, the lives sadly lost and the incredible damage caused. So many people have suffered and it will be a long time before their lives return to normal.

“All of us at the Warriors just want to do something to help, especially those of us from Queensland and from places that were so badly hit by the flooding.”

Seymour, born and raised in Mackay in North Queensland, echoed Luck’s sentiments.

“My hometown wasn’t badly hit this time but it’s been dreadful watching the news and seeing the devastation,” he said.

“We’re pulling together as rugby league players and as a club to do what we can. I also want to do something individually to help.

“It’ll be good when we’re in Queensland during the season to visit one of the towns and try to make some sort of difference as those who have suffered look to put their lives back together again.”

In addition, recently-retired Steve Price, the longest serving captain in the Warriors’ history, is from Toowoomba, one of the worst-affected communities. He was in his hometown with his family at the time of the flooding devastation.

The NRL also announced earlier this week that it had contributed $AUS100,000 towards rebuilding rugby league clubs in Queensland. Additionally, fundraising opportunities will be built around the February 12 All Stars game in Robina as well club trials in Australia.