Queensland players will hit the road for an three-day Reds to Regions tour next week to allow them to connect with the communities they represent when they pull on the maroon jersey.
The Reds will visit a total of 22 community hubs from coastal cities like Cairns, Townsville and Mackay, to western regions including Mount Isa and Cloncurry and drought-hit centres including Longreach and Roma.
Staff will also hit the road with head coach Brad Thorn and assistants Jim McKay, Peter Ryan and Cameron Lillicrap all travelling to Goondiwindi.
While the tour will include visits to local rugby clubs, hospitals and council and sponsor activations, Thorn was also adamant his players spend time with those they represent when they play for Queensland and will be billeted with host families during their trip.
“As a group we’re looking forward to travelling around Queensland and connecting with the hard-working people of this great state," Thorn said.
“As part of the visit they will be helping spread the word about rugby in the local community and hopefully help attract some new people to the game.
“It is also very important the players spend some time with clubs and schools who are already carrying the flag for the sport.
“Our players will be billeted, rather than staying in a hotel. They’ll also spend half a day working with people in the surrounding community, preferably with anyone doing it tough at the moment with the drought and other difficulties.
“At the heart of everything we’re trying to do is to help these men grow in character and overall, we’re there to connect and contribute to the local community."
The QRU will also partner with Rural Aid to raise much-needed funds for Queensland communities affected by the drought.
Rural Aid provides vital assistance and support to farmers and communities in regional areas who are facing some of the worst droughts in the country’s history.
REDS TO REGIONS
Where the Reds will visit: Barcaldine, Bundaberg, Cairns, Cherbourg, Chinchilla, Cloncurry, Dalby, Emerald, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Goondiwindi, Gympie, Hervey Bay, Longreach, Mackay, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, Roma, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville, Woorabinda.