NRL stars support flood victims
NRL STARS, including reformed wild child Todd Carney, visited rural Ipswich schools yesterday and conducted coaching clinics with kids whose homes were destroyed by floods.
The Roosters players split into several groups and visited Boonah, Esk and Coominya state schools, signing autographs and kicking the footy around with children whose lives were affected by the floods.
Meanwhile, coach Brian Smith, Lowood giant Martin Kennedy and superstar Anthony Minichiello entertained guests at a corporate lunch at Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
Smith had the audience in stiches as he spoke frankly of the struggles and stress of being an NRL coach.
Minichiello predicted big things for the Roosters Ipswich-bred trio of Lama Tasi, Martin Kennedy and Tom Guymer.
All three went to Ipswich Grammar School and one of the Roosters’ most promising players is St Peter Claver graduate Tau Tau Moga, who is still settling into Sydney.
Minichiello said Tasi, 20, a Goodna Eagles junior, was in line for an NRL debut this season.
“He’s been really impressive at training all pre-season,” Minichiello said.
“He’s a big guy and he has the size to play in the NRL without question, so I would be surprised if he didn’t get a run in the NRL at some point.
“Kennedy played great for us last year and I think he will go even better this year.
“It seems Ipswich has a lot of rugby league talent.”
A thousand kids flocked to Briggs Road Sporting Complex in the late afternoon for an open signing session with the Roosters players before they trained.
NRL teams will continue to visit Ipswich, with the Melbourne Storm coming to town in two weeks time.
The Roosters are in town for a four-day tour, which culminates in their trial match against the Ipswich Jets at the North Ipswich Reserve.
The game kicks off at 8pm and tickets can be bought at the gate.
Children under 16 get in free.