Players back NRL's move to take games to the bush in 2019
The NRL will take four Telstra Premiership games to the bush in 2019, with the Canberra Raiders to host a match in Wagga Wagga and three other regional fixtures to be confirmed later this year.
"Our commitment to ensuring matches are played in regional locations will continue with this announcement," NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.
"It is also great to see the support from the NSW Government and Destination NSW for these matches.
"We will also have more regional venues to confirm when we announce the premiership schedule."
A product of the Casino Cougars junior rugby league club, South Sydney five-eighth Cody Walker said it was a great initiative.
"I really enjoy that idea. I grew up in a small country town so I know what it does for country people out there – it's amazing for them," Walker said.
"The game in the bush slowly dying in some parts, this would really give their spirits a lift and be an inspiration to the players to follow-on with their rugby league careers."
Rabbitohs back-rower Angus Crichton began his career with the Young Cherrypickers.
"That would be unbelievable," Crichton said. "Any sort of chance you get to go and watch a game is terrific.
"I used to drive to Canberra to watch games. I didn't even care who was playing as I went for the Roosters as a kid.
"But I'd watch Melbourne, or the Raiders playing anyone to witnesss it all and be in that atmosphere.
"I used to froth as a kid at the chance. For other bush kids to get that opportunity would be beautiful.
"You'd see the players up close and get their autograph and swap footy cards. You'd get your photo with them even if you didn't know who they were because they were footy stars.
"It was just great to shake their hands… it was a great experience so we should give that to the bush kids."