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By ARU Media Unit
Burgess hopes to inspire the youngsters at St John’s the Baptist Primary School when he hosts a special assembly at 1.45pm, before running skills sessions and games of Rugby with the kids.
Students have been eagerly awaiting the Test star’s visit, declaring May 4th “Wallaby Wednesday” with an accompanying green and gold dress code, a new spin on the humble sausage sandwich - Wallaby Tails - for lunch, and a raft of themed activities planned across the day.
From school, Burgess will cruise in to town on board a luxury Qantas Great Crusade campervan where he will judge a best-dressed business competition at 2.45pm at Maitland Heritage Mall, with the winner to receive Test tickets and a signed Qantas Wallabies jersey.
Then it’s on to Maitland Rugby Club for a training session and a meet and greet with the local players from 3.45pm.
Burgess says he’s thrilled to be heading home.
“I can’t wait to go home to Maitland and I’m particularly looking forward to going to see the kids at my old school,” Burgess said.
“I’m going to encourage them to have fun at school, to have fun in sport and to follow their dreams.
“As a kid I dreamed about playing for Australia when I was running around the playground at St John’s the Baptist Primary School and at Marcellin Park so I really want to encourage all of the kids to dream big.”
Skipper Rocky Elsom launched the Qantas Wallabies Towns campaign in Noosa last month as the first of around 15 players who will return to where they grew up.
Qantas Wallabies Towns is designed to encourage local communities to rally behind their home-grown stars throughout the 2011 season which kicks off with a Test against Samoa in July before the Qantas Wallabies embark on their quest to win back the Bledisloe Cup, the Tri Nations and the World Cup.
Player appearances are set to stretch along the east coast with more events to be announced in NSW, Queensland, the ACT and Victoria.
Flanker Pat McCutcheon will return to Narromine in country NSW on 9 May while lock Van Humphries and winger Digby Ioane head to Moree (NSW) and Dandenong (Vic) respectively on 16 May.
Lock Rob Simmons is set to visit Theodore in regional Queensland on May 17, while prop Tatafu Polota-Nau will appear in Granville on 8 June.
Special thanks to our Partners Qantas, Lexus, Sportscraft and Skins for their support across the Qantas Wallabies Towns visits.
Upcoming Qantas Wallabies Towns:
(NSW unless noted)
Maitland - 4 May - Luke Burgess
Narromine - 9 May - Pat McCutcheon
Moree -16 May -Van Humphries
Dandenong (Vic) - 16 May - Digby Ioane (and Will Genia)
Theodore (Qld) -17 May - Rob Simmons
Granville - 8 June - Tatafu Polota-Nau
Dural - 15 June - Ben Alexander and Benn Robinson
Manly - 7 July - Pat McCabe
Mt Druitt - 15 July - Kurtley Beale
Further events to be announced
The IRB has announced its match officials list for the second stage of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championships overnight, with two Australians appointed to referee two of the games in New Zealand on Sunday.