NRL Indigenous players camp
More than 25 past and present Indigenous rugby league players, including members of this year's men's Indigenous All Stars team, have come together for a two-day camp, heralding the start of a week long celebration leading up to the 2017 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match on Friday 10 February.
Indigenous All Stars players including Greg Inglis, Dane Gagai and Jack Wighton gathered at Manly's Quarantine Station in Sydney Harbour on Saturday, as part of what has become a traditional part of the lead up to the annual All Stars fixture.
The group spent the day together, learning about the significance of Indigenous culture and its place in Australian history, with sessions from guest speakers, including Stan Grant, Linda Burney and Chris Sarra dedicated to leadership, belonging, cultural heritage and identity.
Indigenous All Stars captain, Greg Inglis said the annual gathering of Indigenous players helps everyone involved in the week develop a better connection to Indigenous culture.
"This week not only provides a significant and positive impact on the players involved, but the wider community and the importance of Indigenous history, the people and our culture," Inglis said.
"While we'll be doing everything we can as a team to win next week, and encourage everyone to head to Newcastle to cheer us on come Friday, the most important result for us as a group is to best represent our family, people and culture, both past and present, as leaders on and off the field."
Former NRL Indigenous layer and current NRL Ambassador, George Rose said this week remains his favourite week on the Rugby League calendar each year.
"This is without question the best, most important week, for Indigenous Rugby League players to go out show the world just how amazing they are," Rose said.
"There's a wonderful amount of pride on display throughout this whole week and I can't wait to see it come to the fore on Friday night."
This is the fifth Indigenous Players camp, with this year's camp focussing on the importance of connecting with Indigenous history and culture, as well as developing their progression as leaders and role models within the community.
The Indigenous All Stars and World All Stars men's teams will officially head into camp in Sydney on Monday 6 February, before heading up to Newcastle and the Hunter Region for a series of community visits.
Tickets to the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars are on-sale now and can be purchased via Ticketmaster and AllStars.NRL.com.