The Festival of Indigenous Rugby League enters its third day this morning with the players looking forward to the culmination of events on Saturday and Sunday.
The week-long festival recognises the role Indigenous Australians play in rugby league. It is being held in Newcastle this week in place of the traditional Rugby League All Stars match, which is being rested in 2014 after the Rugby League World Cup. The event will feature extensive community activities, as well as curtain-raiser games between the Queensland and New South Wales under-16 boys’ teams and Queensland and New South Wales Indigenous women’s teams prior to the main event.
National Indigenous Television (NITV) will broadcast key matches from the Festival of Indigenous Rugby League this weekend, including the trial match between the Newcastle Knights and the First Nations Goannas live from Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
NITV will also show the annual Koori versus Murri Interstate Challenge on Sunday.
‘NITV is looking forward to broadcasting the Festival of Indigenous Rugby League and is pleased to partner with the NRL, enabling all Australians access to some of the best non-elite Indigenous rugby league players via free-to-air TV,’ says Mark Ella, executive producer sport at NITV.
‘Queensland and New South Wales sport is an important part of NITV and our coverage of Indigenous rugby league is always popular among our audiences.
‘The NRL is very pleased to have partnered with NITV to showcase the skills and talent of our non-elite Indigenous players who are taking part in the Festival of Indigenous Rugby League in Newcastle this week,’ said interim NRL general manager of community, culture and diversity, Mr Mark Deweerd.
‘It is a credit to the players involved that they are part of this special week to recognise the important contribution Indigenous people have made to the game and their families and communities should take great pride in watching them on television.’
Coached by former NRL player Laurie Daley, the First Nations Goannas includes some of Australia’s most talented non-elite Indigenous players. The team also features four former NRL stars: David Peachey, Nathan Blacklock, Rod Jensen and Dennis Moran.
NITV’s live coverage of the Newcastle Knights versus First Nations Goannas will feature commentary from Brad Cooke, Owen Craigie, Danny Buderus and Djuro Sen. The Koori versus Murri Interstate Challenge will feature commentary from Brad Cooke, Justin Loomans and Owen Craigie.
Newcastle Knights versus First Nations Goannas will be broadcast live from 6.30pm on Saturday February 8 and the The Koori versus Murri Interstate Challenge from 2pm Sunday February 9.