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Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues captain Boyd Cordner will make an emotional homecoming to Taree on Thursday 19 December alongside coach Brad Fittler and fellow Blues who are urging the public to donate a Christmas gift to assist victims of the catastrophic bushfires that have ravaged NSW.

The initiative from the NSWRL and the Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW (PCYC) encourages people to simply donate a gift to a community in need at their local PCYC which will be distributed to families who have suffered in time for Christmas.

“One thing I really love about my job as coach of the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues is that it gives me an opportunity to help other people,” Fittler said.

“It was great to see all the boys get behind it and Taree is obviously a place that is close to Boyd’s heart having grown up in the area and played his junior football there.

“There’s a lot of other families who are doing it tough across the state and I’d urge fans to donate a gift to their local PCYC if they can to help spread a little cheer this Christmas.”

Cordner and Fittler will be joined on the trip by Blues players Cameron Murray, Damien Cook, James Roberts and Angus Crichton who have all played a role in NSW winning the past two Holden State of Origin series.

Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Origin-winning captain Kezie Apps and winger Shakiah Tungai, True Blue Andrew Johns, Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson and utility Mitchell Aubusson have also thrown their support behind the trip.

Taree was one of the areas destroyed by bushfires in November with more than 1200 firefighters and 70 aircrafts battling the blazes. Many homes were destroyed with residents forced to flee to Taree Showgrounds with only a few prized possessions and the clothes on their backs.

Fittler and the players will visit victims of the fires and local firefighters in Taree on Thursday, host a skills and drills football clinic and finish the night singing Christmas Carols with the local community at an event where Shannon Noll is the headline act.

Anyone wishing to donate a gift can do so at their local PCYC before 16 December.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales 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.