Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Mackay Turns Maroon

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Mackay Turns Maroon

Article excerpt

MACKAY'S city heart will turn a sea of maroon as the stars of the Queensland State of Origin team arrive in town to meet Mackay fans.

Here's everything you need to know for their visit...

The march

The Queensland Maroons team will be leaving from the corner of Gordon and Gregory streets at 10.30am and heading to the MECC for the Origin Fan Day Luncheon.

The luncheon will be held from noon to 2pm with all of the Queensland team, along with NRL Footy Show stars Paul "Fatty" Vautin and Darryl "The Big Marn" Brohman.

Tickets are no longer on sale for this event.

They will then be holding a juniors clinic at BB Print Stadium, which also is sold out.

Mackay has produced some of the code's most illustrious names including Wendell Sailor, Dale Shearer, Martin Bella, Steve Jackson, Owen Cunningham, Travis Norton and Neville Costigan.

In more recent times, Cronulla's grand final star and former Dally M winner Ben Barba, Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans and current Maroons winger Dane Gagai have graduated to the NRL from the region.

"This part of Queensland has produced some amazing talent over the years and hopefully our visit before Game II of this year's series will inspire more young players to get involved in our great game," Queensland coach Kevin Walters said.

"Our players take a lot away from these Fan Days too as they get to witness first hand just how passionate our supporters are.

"I still vividly remember the young family who travelled more than four hours to get autographs in Gladstone last year. I don't travel that far for a holiday."

QRL boss Rob Moore said his organisation was delighted to support the team's visit to Mackay.

"Like many regional communities, the Mackay district is going through a challenging period and we trust this event will bring some cheer to the area," Moore said. …

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