The Group 19 junior rugby league season will receive an early boost with Uralla Tigers hosting an under 14 and under 16 nines competition on February 17.
Glen Innes minor league is expected to field at least one team in the under 14s competition which coincides with the 2018 Hogs for the Homeless tour.
The tour, led by NSW Origin coach Brad Fittler, will be visiting Uralla and Armidale on the day of the tournament before heading to Glen Innes on Monday, February 19.
Fittler will be joined by former NRL stars Danny Buderus, Nathan Hindmarsh and Steve Menzies on the tour and the group will be conducting a training session before a meet and greet in Glen.
“We are very excited,” Glen Innes minor league’s Linda Bruce said.
“This is the second time that they have come, they didn't come last year but the year before.
“They come and do a skills session with kids from 4pm to 5pm on the Monday afternoon at Mead Park and then at 6pm we just have a barbeque and a meet and greet at the New England Club and they all come along.”
The Hogs tour has been on the road every year since 2013 and Bruce said they were a hit when they were last in the town in 2016.
“They were fantastic last time,” she said.
“They were really good, they took the time with the kids and even with the people back at the club, just to stand there and have a yarn with everyone. It's a really good night, really good evening and you don't get to have those sorts of fellas come up this way very often.”
The tour raises funds to help people in need and visits 16 regional towns in 10 days.
“The Hogs For The Homeless tour is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding times of the year,” Fittler said.
“The tour gains more momentum every year. We are all really looking forward to getting out there and giving back to communities who need our help the most.
“Sometimes the simple things like meeting people, saying hello and having a conversation can go a long way to inspiring them.”
The tour raises funds through merchandise, auctions and raffle tickets, with the first prize winner to receive a Harley Davidson motorcycle valued at $15,995.
Hogs For The Homeless has raised almost $600,000 for Youth off the Streets.