Why The Wiggles will RiseForAlex
Blue Wiggle Anthony Field has been to ANZ Stadium many times before – but only as a rugby league fan, not as a performer.
"I don't think we've ever performed there, no. I've been to many games there though!" Field told NRL.com this week.
Field, an ardent Wests Tigers supporter, was affected like most of us when news of Newcastle player Alex McKinnon suffering a spinal injury rocked the rugby league community.
So when the NRL announced the RiseForAlex Round this weekend, the 51-year-old jumped at the opportunity to help out.
Not only did the Wiggles record what is sure to be a popular RiseForAlex song – complete with some impressive dancing cameos from a number of Wests Tigers and Bulldogs players – but for the first time in Wiggles history, the four-member crew will be performing a special live show at ANZ Stadium prior to the game between the two sides on Sunday afternoon.
"There's no way we didn't want to do it. And it's just the same with the Tigers and the Bulldogs, they stopped their training sessions to help film," Field said.
"I think everybody just wants to do anything they can to help Alex and people like Alex who suffer in the sport. They put their bodies on the line and unfortunately there are casualties from entertaining us and providing us with great enjoyment.
"I think everybody feels they wanted to give something back to these guys who work so hard. He just seems like such a nice man, how he's handled this terrible thing that's happened to him."
It is not the first time the kids group has thrown its support behind the 13-man code. During the World Cup, The Wiggles created a song for rugby league minnows United States that has attracted over 200,000 hits.
But, moved by McKinnon's bravery in his recovery from his injury, Field has implored families to attend Sunday's game in a show of support for the Knights player.
"It's all about Alex, and if we can get families to come along and bring their kids along to see the Wiggles, every ticket gives a dollar to the foundation, and that'd be a great thing," he said.