FORMER Canberra Raider NRL star Alan Tongue will be the special guest when today’s secondary section of the 66th Peel Schools Rugby League Carnival kicks off at the Tamworth Minor League Complex on Riverside.
Peel Schools Carnival publicity officer Mike Cashman said Tongue’s attendance would be a welcome addition to the carnival following Saturday’s unfortunate cancellation of the primary section.
“Ex-Dungowan local Alan Tongue, now resident in Canberra and long-time player with the Canberra Raiders, will be flying in for the carnival,” Cashman said.
“His name will be well- known to today’s participants, having been a prominent NRL player for several years, and now in a media role.”
After some late withdrawals, 33 teams representing 13 schools in four age divisions will take the fields at Tamworth’s Riverside Sports Complex, with games getting underway at 9.30am.
The 13 years division has attracted the most entries, with 11 teams participating.
Gateshead’s Hunter Sports High will be the most travelled school, with teams also travelling from Aberdeen, Muswellbrook, Narrabri, Gunnedah and Armidale to compete against Tamworth schools.
The draw is structured to guarantee all teams at least two matches.
“With the excitement of State-of-Origin well and truly in the air, spectators will be guaranteed great entertainment at today’s 66th Carnival – Australia’s longest-running,” Cashman said.
Meanwhile Greater Northern’s Under 16 and 18 teams “go into camp” in Tamworth on Friday in preparation for Saturday’s Country Championship Finals in Tamworth.
GN regional manager Scott Bone said both sides are unchanged from their semi -final wins in Wollongong.
“The 16s go into camp and train at Jack Woolaston Oval at 3.30pm Friday,” Bone said of the Gary Jones-coached side.
“The 18s will train from 4.30pm at Jack Woolaston Oval.”