Rabbitohs High Performance Unit squad members Kobi Hookey and Reece Townsend will travel to Canberra today as part of the New South Wales Indigenous Under 16s Young Achievers Tour squad, to take part in a ceremonial presentation at the Australian War Memorial, ahead of their history-making tour of Europe.
The touring party will be presented with 50 small wooden crosses to take on their trip and place on war graves at Villers-Bretonneux on Armistice Day.
The tour, which takes non-elite players from across NSW, from places as small and remote as Bourke and Collarenebri, to France and Italy, is as much about social and cultural learnings as it is about the greatest game of all.
The tour is self-funded, with monetary support and resources provided by the New South Wales Rugby League and KARI Aboriginal Resources Incorporated.
All participants must have an 80 per cent attendance record at school for the past 12 months – and they will visit a number of historically significant locations on the trip including battlefields of the Somme, focusing on the Indigenous involvement in the World Wars.
Rugby league legend Ronny Gibbs and former Rabbitoh Beau Champion will be part of the touring party which will attend a reception at the Australian Embassy in Paris, as well as act as guests of the Mayor of Villers-Bretonneux for the laying of the wreaths on Armistice Day.
The Indigenous Under-16s Young Achievers Tour squad will wear Anzac-themed jerseys in the matches they play to highlight the cultural and historical significance of the tour.
For more information on the tour, including the full squad list, please click here.