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Central Queensland players will travel hundreds of kilometres to strap on the boots at the Bedourie Nines tomorrow (June 13).

Eight dedicated teams from across the region are set to take part in the inaugural tournament.

Central West Rugby League Chairman Dave Kerrigan said the idea was hatched when he and Game Development Officer Rod Dahl undertook a Western Corridor trip last year.

The pair were planning an A Grade State Representative Outback fixture for 2016 when the idea of more local carnival took priority.

“We thought, ‘how can we get these blokes together and give them an opportunity to play,” Kerrigan said.

“We all love rugby league, especially at this time of the year during the Origin period.

“People are doing it tough out here at the moment and this means the world to some of the communities.”

The tournament includes five men’s teams and three women’s teams, with squads assembling from neighbouring properties and towns including Winton, Birdsville, Mount Isa and Boulia.

One of the women’s sides is making the 700 kilometre trek from Charleville.

Even though the towns are 188kms apart, Bedourie will play in a combined squad with Birdsville.

They’ll have the services of former Intrust Super Cup player Dwayne Rigby, with the ex-Easts Tiger set to captain the side.

Kerrigan, who works for Queensland Health, has been visiting schools en-route to Bedourie and said the trip was about more than just footy.

“We’re promoting rugby league courses and the advantages of a healthy lifestyle to local schools,” he said.

“All the teachers, staff and students … they all say they’re coming on Saturday, so hopefully we’ll get a great turnout.

“We’ve had really great support from regional councils and the QRL just to name a few.

“The field at Bedourie is watered from an underground supply … so it looks like an oasis.”

Kerrigan said standout players from the tournament were a chance of being drafted into Outback squads for the annual muster being held in Mt Isa on Saturday, June 20.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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