The Indigenous All Stars have rallied behind a young Queensland boy who has received widespread support after his mother posted an emotional video of him on social media.
The Indigenous side posted a message of support for nine-year-old Indigenous schoolboy Quaden Bayles, asking him to lead the team onto the field for Saturday's clash with the Maori All Stars at Gold Coast's Cbus Super Stadium.
Quaden, who was born with achondroplasia dwarfism, is an advocate for Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism.
His mother, Yarraka, posted a distressing video of Quaden in which he speaks of harming himself - which has been viewed more than three million times - in a bid to stop bullying of her son.
"Hey Quaden, how are you going cuz. We just want to wish you all the best, brother," Latrell Mitchell said, speaking on behalf of the players, in the video.
"We know you are going through a hard time now but the boys are here to support you.
All Stars rally behind bullying victim
"We've got your back and just want to make sure that you are doing alright, make sure that your mum is on your side, we're on your side.
"Just make sure you are thinking the right things bud, because we want you around, we want you to lead us out on the weekend.
"Make sure you are looking after yourself and hopefully we are going to see you in the next couple of days."
Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley said the reaction to the video of Quaden was "sadness".
Quaden's mum praises All Stars support
"I think anyone who saw that video was heartbroken. Whether you have got children or not it is terrible to see that happening in today's world," Daley said.
"It has touched so many people around the world. We have got people from around the world that have contacted us and want to get in contact with him, and our guys have shown great leadership in embracing him and including him in our activities over the next 48 hours, both him and his family, just to show we care and we are here for him and he belongs.
"We will do everything we possibly can to make his life happier than what it has been."
Daley outlined what the All Stars have in store for young Quaden.
"He will be involved in leading the team out. He will be involved in the dressing sheds and I am assuming he will in photos with his favourite players and receive some gear," Daley said.
"There are a lot of things that we can do. I reckon he will have a good couple of days."
Indigenous NRL great Johnathan Thurston voiced his support for Quaden, posting an image on Instagram with the message "stay strong buddy; you are loved! To the bullies....THIS IS NOT OK".
Help is available for any child or young adult in distress at Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800