NRL stars set to pitch in
DESPERATE to help the game’s heartland, National Rugby League stars will visit the ruins of Ipswich next week to help residents clean their worm-riddled and mud infected suburbs.
The Parramatta Eels and the Gold Coast Titans will send dozens of players to the city on Tuesday to get their hands dirty in flood-ravaged homes.
While the Sydney Roosters’ players and staff have already donated thousands of dollars to help Ipswich Junior Rugby League clubs return to their former glory.
They have also put a formal request out to their fans to help donate to the Ipswich region.
And there’s an enormous job ahead, one which will cost more than $100 million.
Ipswich’s sports clubs and grounds lay destroyed today.
Brothers and Fassifern were the only IRL clubs that were left dry this week.
While soccer, cricket and rugby grounds are weeks away from resembling nromality.
Yesterday, more than 60 players from the Ipswich Jets club cleaned the Norths Junior Rugby League club house and grounds.
Norths, which backs onto the Bremer River, was detroyed in this week’s 19.5 metre flood.
“We’ve got most of our three teams out helping whoever needs it and it’s the least we can do,” Jets Chief Executive Brad Wolens said.
“We spotted some elderley ladies struggling to get rubbish into a skip on the way to Norths, we stopped and got all the boys out to help them finish the job.”
Wolens said the Eels and Titans were heart broken watching Ipswich sink on national television.
“Both clubs called me this week and said they would send a bunch of their boys to help clean up,” Wolens said.
“Both teams will be up here on Tuesday and we will send them out in groups to different suburbs.
“They want to do anything they can to help.
“We hope that by them being in those suburbs Ipswich people will come along to meet them and also help clean up.
“The only problem we have at the moment is there are not enough skips, “All the big bins were washed away so we need utes to help carry the rubbish.”
The Ipswich Knights soccer club was also ruined, completely submerged.
North Ipswich Reserve was not affected nor were the hockey or rugby league fields at Briggs Road.
The cricket season in Ipswich has already been severely affected by rain and it will be two weeks before another game of cricket is played in the city.
Meanwhile, Australian cricket star and former Ipswich Grammar School student Shane Watson will also help clean up Ipswich.
After starring for Australia in its narrow T20 loss to England earlier this week, Watson pledged to return to his hometown to help.
“It’s really for me, personally, put things in perspective, exactly what cricket means, what life means, with all the devastation ... at home in my home town, Ipswich," he said after a herculean effort for Australia at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday night.
“I’m going to be doing everything I can to get back there as soon as I possibly can to help out.”