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Saddling up in Tenterfield: Warriors adopt battling NSW town

The Warriors have called on other NRL clubs to follow their lead and adopt a town after establishing a unique relationship with Tenterfield in northern NSW.

Tenterfield, which is 280km south-west of Brisbane, has been ravaged by drought and bushfires and Warriors CEO Cameron George said the club had committed to a range of initiatives and events to assist the town and its local team, the Tenterfield Tigers.

“I spoke to the junior rugby league secretary today and they are in doubt of being able to play in their fields next year because it is so dry so we could look to help fund-raise for an irrigation system that can local kids to play games in their home town,” George said.

Residents have had to boil water for more than two months, with Tenterfield in the grip of an ongoing drought since 2016 and more than 50 homes lost in recent bushfires.

George said the Warriors would send players and club representatives to Tenterfield for a number of events during the 2020 season, including coaching clinics.

“We can do such great things on the field but more importantly we know what we as a club can do off the field and that is why we want to work closely with the community in Tenterfield to try and put a smile on the face of the people there after what has been a devastating couple of years for them,” George said.

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“We have a huge fan base in Australia and we play in an Australian competition so we want to do what we can to help and we know that if we were in a time of need in New Zealand our Australian friends would help us out.

“Hopefully some other clubs might follow suit by adopting a town as well and doing some things to help those communities.

“I know that everyone is doing things to help but the people I have spoken to in Tenterfield are just bouncing on the back of what we want to do with them.

“We just want to give folk in Tenterfield a little joy and would encourage other NRL clubs to do the same.”

The Warriors plan to have a presence at the annual Tenterfield Show in early February while club representatives will also visit the town to support the Tenterfield Tigers' seniors and juniors next season.

Also scheduled is an appearance by Warriors representatives at a mayor’s business and sports dinner to raise funds for all sports in Tenterfield, which is the birthplace of Billy Moore, who is credited with starting the "Queenslander" chant.

The late Peter Allen, who is best known for "I Still Call Australia Home" and "I Go To Rio", also wrote Tenterfield Saddler after his home town.

“Ultimately our goal is to inspire, engage with and encourage a wonderful community which has shown incredible resilience in the face of enormous adversity in recent years,” George said.

Tenterfield Shire Council mayor Peter Petty said he was humbled by the way the Warriors had extended the hand of friendship.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Tenterfield,” he said. “We are all excited to partner and connect with such a high-profile team, who are genuinely keen to support and encourage our communities.

“This relationship will empower our local youth and sporting groups and provide the whole community with a much-needed boost.”