The NRL will pay tribute to 15 retiring players during the spectacular build-up to the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final between Melbourne Storm and North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium on Sunday (October 1).
Having lifted the Premiership trophy on Grand Final Day last year, former Sharks hooker Michael Ennis will be part of tomorrow’s celebration of retiring and departing players.
Those players who will be presented on the day, along with Ennis, will be: Matt Ballin (Wests Tigers), Jeff Lima, Dane Tilse (Canberra Raiders), Ray Thompson, Ben Hannant (North Queensland Cowboys), Rory Kostjasyn, Anthony Tupou (Newcastle Knights), Jeff Robson, Isaac De Gois (Parramatta Eels), Feleti Mateo (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), David Shillington, Daniel Vidot (Gold Coast Titans), Bryson Goodwin (South Sydney Rabbitohs), and Matt White (Melbourne Storm).
"We have Premiership winners, Test and State of Origin representatives in this year’s list of retiring and departing players,” NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.
“The tribute to our retiring players is one of the real highlights of Grand Final Day. Although we are always disappointed to know we won’t be seeing these players on that stage again, it is rewarding to be able to celebrate their achievements.
“I also know that a number of these players will play important roles in the game even after their retirement from playing.
“Our class of 2017 have contributed to Rugby League enormously and it’s comforting to know that they will continue to do so.”
Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6.30pm to see the pre-match entertainment, headlined by Grammy Award-winning artist Macklemore, who will sing five of his biggest hits. The National Anthem will be sung by Ricki-Lee.
A spectacular light and pyro show will accompany the performance, in line with the NRL’s theme for the decider: “Let’s Make It Grand.”.
NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final celebrations will begin in the Sydney Olympic Park precinct outside ANZ Stadium at 11am, with an NRL Fan Zone offering merchandise, family-friendly activities and live entertainment. Restaurants, cafes and bars will open for extended hours pre and post-game.
Limited tickets are available for the Grand Final via nrl.com/tickets
Every fan who attends the event will also receive a limited edition ‘47 Telstra Premiership Grand Final cap. The one-of-a-kind cap is only available to ticket purchasers.
Fans are encouraged not to purchase tickets from unauthorised resellers including Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale.
A Marketplace for Fans has been set up for the Grand Final via nrl.com/tickets The service enables patrons and purchasers the opportunity to buy and sell tickets in a secure and guaranteed environment.
The 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final is supported by the NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
All tickets to the NRL Grand Final include return travel on Sydney Trains, regular bus services and Sydney Olympic Park Major Event Buses, Sydney Ferries services and Light Rail services, with fans encouraged to take advantage of the public transport, arrive early and enjoy the pre-game festivities.
Direct train services from Central to Olympic Park will run every 7-8 minutes from noon, stopping at Redfern and Strathfield. For fans coming from the west, express services will run from Blacktown every 10 minutes and from Penrith and Parramatta every 30 minutes from 12.30pm.
Sydney Olympic Park Major Event Buses begin running from 11.50am and 12.30pm depending on the route.
Fans are reminded to keep their tickets for the return journey, as customers must have a valid ticket when travelling on public transport.
A high NSW Police and security presence will be in place. Fans are asked to leave additional time for the security screening process when entering the Stadium. This process will include mandatory bag searches and personal checks.
Only small bags (no larger than 30cm x 40cm) are permitted into ANZ Stadium for events, and all bags will be checked by security. Fans should arrive without bags if possible.
Fans are also reminded that Daylight Saving begins in NSW on Sunday when clocks go forward one hour at 2.00am.
11am Precinct opens
1.15pm ANZ Stadium gates open
1.35pm 2017 NRL Holden Cup Under 20s Grand Final: Parramatta Eels v Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
3:40pm 2017 Intrust Super State Championship: Penrith Panthers v PNG Hunters
6:30pm Entertainment commences inside ANZ Stadium
7.15pm 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final Kick Off: Melbourne Storm v North Queensland Cowboys