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Singer Ben Mingay with SES volunteers Shannon Judge, Jim Pullin, Rhonda Kuiters and Ke

Before the field becomes a battleground of blue and maroon, everyone at tomorrow night's Holden State of Origin will put aside allegiances to acknowledge the hard work of the team in fluoro orange.

The NRL is gving 2,000 tickets for Game One of the series at ANZ Stadium to volunteers from the SES, with a lap of honour dedicated to them before kick-off.

For Jim Pullen, a member of the SES since 1961, the gesture is nice reminder that the invaluable job he and thousands of others provide is appreciated.

"It's a nice reward and recognition for the hard work. It's nice to know that someone out there notices what we're doing," he said.

The recent deadly and destructive storms which battered large parts of NSW were a particularly tough period for the SES, with 1200 requests in the Sutherland Shire area alone over an eight-day period.

"It was a very hectic time, time went very quickly because we were so busy", he said.

CEO Dave Smith said the NRL was delighted to play a role in thanking emergency service workers who helped to save lives and homes during the disastrous period.

"We are a game built on our sense of community and we see it as a privilege to be able to say thank you to our emergency service workers in this way," he said.

His thoughts are shared by Ben Mingay, who is performing before the game with Shannon Noll.

"They do it for the good of the community, anything thrown their way is a good thing," he said.

And just for the record, Pullen, a lifelong Blues supporter, is desperate for the locals to end up on top.

"I won't be able to call family in Queensland for at least a month if we don't win," he said.

This article first appeared on The Daily Telegraph

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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