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NRL players are uniting behind Rugby League’s grassroots, issuing special shout-outs to more than 120,000 national junior participants.

Elite NRL and NRLW players filmed special videos designed to unite and engage with the game’s grassroots players, parents and volunteers in this unprecedented time.

The players filmed the videos knowing junior competitions across the country remain on-hold in the wake of the COVID-19 virus.

Players who have taken part in the campaign included Wade Graham, Michael Morgan, Ben Hunt, Jake Trbojevic, Josh Mansour, Cody Walker, Josh Jackson, Luke Keary, Jarrod Croker and Simaima Taufa.

“It’s great to unite behind our junior players – they’re the lifeblood of the sport and there’s thousands of players out there who are disappointed they can’t be playing footy at the moment,” Sharks player Wade Graham said.

“We wanted to let them know that we’re in this together but also importantly to encourage them to keep active, stay positive and that we’ll all be back playing the game we love soon.”

Luke Ellis, the NRL’s Head of Football – Participation, Pathways and Game Development, said it was important for the game’s junior participants to know that the elite players were thinking of them.

“This is a great concept and I’d like to thank the players for being so keen to get behind it,” he said.

“I’m sure our juniors will be encouraged knowing that the game’s best players are thinking about them while they’re trying to return to the field themselves.

“Ultimately, we’re all united behind wanting to see Rugby League returning to grounds across the country as soon as feasibly possible and the thousands of players, parents, coaches, officials and volunteers enjoying the sport again.”

The special shout-out messages will be distributed to the game’s participants via email today, as well as on NRL.com and the official NRL social media channels.