NRL: Warriors to star in West Coast charity match

Tony Kokshoorn says the presence of so many league stars on the West Coast would do wonders. Photo / Simon Baker
Tony Kokshoorn says the presence of so many league stars on the West Coast would do wonders. Photo / Simon Baker

The Warriors will play Newcastle in a charity match at Wingham Park in Greymouth on Saturday, February 5 to raise funds and lift spirits on the West Coast after the 29 deaths in last month's Pike River mining disaster.

In partnership with the National Rugby League and the New Zealand Rugby League, the Warriors and Knights will distribute all funds from the match to the Pike River mining relief fund and the West Coast Rugby League.

"We were determined to do what we could to provide support and we're pleased the Knights have been able to join us, with their common link to the mining industry," said Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah.

"It's our wish to boost the relief fund in a tangible way and to help rugby league, a sport which has a close connection with mining on the West Coast and to so many of the families affected by what happened." Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn said the presence of so many league stars on the West Coast would do wonders.

"It's a humbling gesture. The West Coast, being a staunch rugby league and mining area, sees this as an incredible show of solidarity."

The teams intend to arrive in Greymouth on Thursday, February 3 for community appearances ahead of the match.

The West Coast Rugby League will host a dinner on the Friday night. Families affected by the tragedy are expected to meet the teams at a breakfast the next morning. The NZRL will help with game-day logistics, meaning no costs will be incurred by the West Coast region.

Among the Kiwis in line to feature will be Lance Hohaia, Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino and Lewis Brown. New Warriors signings Feleti Mateo and Krisnan Inu are also set to make the trip and debut for their new club.

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