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Panthers winger Josh Mansour.

Panthers winger Josh Mansour has revealed how his cousin left Beirut just 30 minutes before the tragic explosion that rocked the city on Tuesday.

As rugby league unites to offer support to the Lebanese community following the horrific event, Mansour and a host of NRL players of Lebanese origin have started working out how they can offer support.

Drenched in a Lebanese flag following Saturday night's 28-12 win over the Raiders, Mansour indicated no NRL players' family members had been directly affected by the tragedy but the close call had hit the Panthers winger hard.

The former Kangaroos winger wrote "Lebanon" on his wrist tape and drew the Islamic moon and a crucifix as part of the tribute with Sea Eagles centre Moses Suli and others also showing their support across the weekend.

The NRL's minute silence as a mark of respect across all games visibly affected Mansour as he discussed plans around offering support to the country.

Match Highlights: Panthers v Raiders

"The country is going through so much, not only with this explosion but through COVID, an economic crisis and the government," Mansour said.

"They are looking at a revolution now as well. Things have been piling up. It's the last thing the country needs.

"It just shows how passionate we are. I have been to Lebanon once and it's just such a strong connection.

"When I went over there I met my dad's brother and sister for the first time and I felt like I knew them my whole life. It's something I can't explain. It's just in my blood.

"The good thing about the Lebanese community is they are such a tight group, very resilient people.

Mansour's emotional message to the Lebanese community

"There have been a lot of tough times over the year. They will definitely come through this."

Mansour also plans to reach out to Lebanon teammate Adam Doueihi after footage of the Wests Tigers fullback in an upset state was broadcast following his side's 44-4 loss to Newcastle on Saturday.

Doueihi, 22, made his international debut with Lebanon in 2017 and has "deep roots" to Beirut, according to Mansour.Β 

He said the Lebanese contingent within the rugby league has a WhatsApp group that has hosted with a discussion around how players can help.

"I am donating clothes and food … I can't go down myself but hopefully, my wife will be able to drop stuff off," Mansour said.

"I'm donating money to the Lebanese Red Cross. Anything I can. I don't want to just say stuff, I want to take action.

"I'm trying to get as many people on board as possible."

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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