by Dane Lillingstone
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Legends of League are on their way to the Whitsundays.
International Legends of League, along with Whitsunday Regional Council, have announced that former State of Origin and Australian Test players will play a charity rugby game in Bowen to boost the spirits of the Whitsundays following Cyclone Debbie.
The event will see the likes of Petero Civoniceva, Scott Prince, Nathan Blacklock, Robbie O'Davis, Scott Hill and Kevin Campion play as All-Stars.
They will play against a local Whitsunday All-Stars team from Airlie, Proserpine and Bowen featuring past legends in the area.
The four-day event will kick-off on May 17 with schools to Collinsville, Bowen, Airlie Beach and Proserpine along with hospital and shopping centre visits, a sponsors bowls day, and special lunches and dinners.
The main event will be the Australia v Whitsunday All-Stars on Saturday night and will include warm-up matches from local teams.
"The Whitsunday All-Stars team will feature local 'identities' who were prominent local players or coaches who have contributed to the development of rugby league in Whitsunday," event organiser Troy Byers said.
"Of all the areas we have held these games in the past, this community is perhaps the one who needs this event more than ever at this point in time. We see this event as an opportunity for the local people to come out and enjoy an evening and put a smile back on their face after these trying times".
With crowds at past events ranging from 3500 to 10,000, it will be the perfect opportunity to show the Whitsundays is well and truly back on its feet.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said the charity match would be a great opportunity for the local community to see the legends of NRL in action.
"Our residents have shown that amazing north Queensland resilience and spirit and this is an opportunity to mingle with legends of the game, have a great day out and raise funds for community groups hit hard by the recent cyclone," he said.
The All-Stars match is on Saturday, May 20 in Bowen.