THE first ever Murri Queensland Indigenous versus New Zealand Maori match will be held later this year at Wynnum on October 18.
The announcement was made by the Lord Mayor of Brisbane Graham Quirk, together with the Arthur Beetson Foundation earlier this month.
Taking place at the home of the Wynnum Manly Seagulls BMD Kougari Oval, the carnival will showcase elite NRL talent and feature community programs designed to increase awareness of positive lifestyle choices through the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health’s “Deadly Choices” program.
Mayor Quirk welcomed the popular fixture to Wynnum and said event undoubtedly would be a highlight on the city’s sporting calendar and a tribute to the Arthur Beetson Foundation’s work.
“What better way to recognise the great Arthur Beetson than to host the Murri versus Maori rugby league event here in Wynnum to showcase Queensland’s finest Indigenous rugby league players and the future stars of NZ Maoris game,” Cr Quirk said.
“Artie’s contribution on and off the field will not be forgotten, and we are grateful to Arthur Beetson Foundation for getting behind this event that will bring thousands of visitors to our region from all over the state.”
Last year’s match saw NRL stars Sam Rapira, Bodene Thompson, Kevin Locke and Charlie Gubb representing New Zealand Maori, while NRL legends Tony Currie and Nathan Blacklock were on hand to assist the Murri team.
Institute for Urban Indigenous Health CEO and major sponsor of the Deadly Choices Cup Adrian Carson said Murri Rugby League contributes significantly to good public and preventative health programs that support Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
“People from all over the state travel to participate in this event and all players and officials are required to undertake a ‘health check’ at their local Aboriginal Medical Service,” Mr Carson said.
“These games honour Queensland rugby league greats both male and female, past and present, and allow the next generation of talent to take to the field and encourage more Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders to get involved in physical activity.”
The match-day will have both men and women teams take part, with the NZ Maori Men’s side to tour Fiji after the game. The NZ Maori Under 15 squad will tour Papua New Guinea.
The Murri Queensland Indigenous versus New Zealand Maori event is proudly sponsored by the Brisbane City Council, Deadly Choices, Inala Wangarra and the Arthur Beetson Foundation and supported by Queensland Rugby League.