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Brothers and former Rabbitohs players, Ben and Shane Walker will be at Barlow Park in Cairns this Sunday for the Bunnies Rumble at the Reef fixture against the Gold Coast Titans, but the pair wont just be there as spectators, but rather as coaches of the Ipswich Jets.

As though growing up and playing together wasnt enough for the pair, the Walkers have extended their relationship to the coaches box, with the former Souths duos Jets playing the Cairns based Northern Pride in Sundays Intrust Super Cup curtain raiser to the NRL fixture, in a true top of the table clash.

Both the Northern Pride and the Jets will enjoy a smattering of first grade talent with the likes of Ty Williams Sam Obst, Ethan Lowe, Joel Riethmuller, Scott Moore and Kyle Feldt taking the field for the Pride, while former Bronco Ian Lacey will turn out for the Jets, with proceeds from every ticket going back to the CDRL and the Northern Pride.

Shane, a former hooker for the Bunnies, is excited that NRL footy is reaching out to regional areas, and is sure that the quality on display at Sundays Rumble at the Reef fixture will be a positive for the Cairns community as well as for Rugby League and the Rabbitohs.

I expect to see an enormous crowd that will get to the game early and leave late, said Walker.

Its a wonderful initiative. There will be people at the game that would never otherwise have an opportunity to see live NRL based purely on their locality.

Places like Cairns have produced many great Rugby League players that have gone away to play in the NRL and its now nice to see the game giving back to these communities.

Shane is also keen to re-connect with his former club during the trip.

My time at the Rabbitohs is very special for me, the history and what it meant to be a Rabbitoh was never lost on me.

Redfern was a special place to be when the Rabbits were winning, Im very jealous of the current crop of players!

Despite the competitive nature of their sport, former Bunnies half Ben Walker, says the brothers close relationship hasnt really changed over the years.

Weve always debated footy since we could talk, said Ben.

Its always been in our blood. We still enjoy it and love discussing it, and actually I feel like Ive enjoyed it more since Ive retired now that we can look at it analytically as coaches.

The Intrust Super Cup curtain raiser between the Ipswich Jets and the Northern Pride kicks off at 11:45am at Barlow Park Cairns, with the NRL clash scheduled for a 2pm kick-off. Gates open at 11:30am.

The Rumble at the Reef NRL Cairns Fixture is supported by Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and business events throughout the state.
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