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Junior players win All Stars ball-kid experience

Two excited junior rugby league players will enjoy an All Stars experience to remember after winning a competition to perform ball-kid duties in Townsville on Saturday night.

Wyatt Ryan, 12, and Roharnee Nicholas, 11, were selected after submitting short responses about why they love playing local footy in an initiative led by the ARL Commission.

The pair will help four other ball-kids sourced from the Cowboys NRL set-up for both the women's and men's fixtures.

They'll be on the edge of the action as the game's best Indigenous and Maori talent collide at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

For Wyatt, who plays hooker for the Centrals club and tackles well above his weight, being a ball-kid has long been a goal.

"It's always been my dream. I've always wanted to be up close to all the NRL players. I have some favourite NRL players that I'd like to see," said Wyatt, who supports North Queensland and Newcastle.

The budding dummy-half is about to enter his seventh season of junior league. In his submission, he detailed his passion for playing with his friends and showing that size is no barrier.

Waytt's mother, Leann Pascoe, surprised him with the news that he'd won and captured his joyous reaction on video.

Behind the scenes with Tedesco, Sergis and little league stars

"We've got two little boys playing football, so they live and breathe it in our house, it's ridiculous," said Leann.

"I just decided that I'd ask them the question in conversation, and I just condensed what they said into 25 words and entered them both."

Roharnee's All Star callup

Roharnee, meanwhile, is set to play rugby league for the first time this year with the Western Lions in Townsville.

The youngster wrote that she was "interested in playing for my club because I love the game, I want to meet and make new friends, and maybe one day play for the Australian women's rugby league team."

Her mother, Greta Nicholas, described being an All Stars ball-kid as "the opportunity of a lifetime" for Roharnee.

Greta said her daughter's enthusiasm for the sport stems from her own keen support of the Cowboys and the Palm Island Barracudas.

Roharnee was delighted upon learning at school that she was a winner of the All Stars competition.

"We're excited. I can't wait to watch the girls too," Greta said.

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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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