Anzac Round significance for Cowboys
The North Queensland Cowboys will host the Newcastle Knights for the NRL's Anzac Round this Saturday, and the significance of the event in the garrison city of Townsville is not lost on the players.
Second-rower Coen Hess modelled the Cowboys' Anzac commemorative jersey on Wednesday, and spoke about the importance of the event.
"Living in North Queensland you're really exposed to the army," Hess said.
"It's a great feeling getting to commemorate the Anzacs and what they're all about.
"I guess it filters through to everyone, whether you have family that's in the army or not, they go out there and risk their lives for our freedom, so it's wonderful that we get an opportunity like this to represent them."
The Cowboys will have extra motivation on Saturday night, with former Australian Army personnel visiting the club to talk to the players ahead of the game.
"We have a really big build up for the week, we get ex-army staff to come in and have a chat to us, give their side of the story and tell us what it means to them," Hess said.
"It's a great week and something that we really do look forward to."
Cowboys front-rower Patrick Kaufusi will commemorate Anzac Day from a New Zealand perspective, and is equally excited about the occasion and the game against the Knights on Saturday.
"It's an honour to put this jersey on and represent the Anzacs and those who've gone and fought for us to live out our lives here," Kaufusi said.
The young forward was also looking forward to meeting the former soldiers during the week, and hearing the stories they had to tell.
"It's unreal to hear what they've gone through, you sometimes think how crazy it is that they had to go through that and you see how lucky we are to be where we are because of them."
The Cowboys' Commemorative jersey features the Townsville cenotaph on The Strand – a representative of all North Queensland memorials – and the symbolic red poppy wreath, a powerful reminder of the service of Australia’s men and women across the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and Australian Army.
The Cowboys Team Shop will donate $5 from the sale of every supporters’ Commemorative jersey to Townsville Legacy.