Canberra Raiders duo Aidan Sezer and Brad Abbey enjoyed a touch of life in Wagga as preparations continue for the city’s NRL game.
The halfback and fullback were the star attractions at Mount Austin High School on Thursday as they took on a number of students in a friendly game of touch footy.
The pair also took in the sights of the city, including a venture to Wagga Beach, and are looking forward to making Wagga home for one week in May.
Sezer believes it’s crucial country kids can get a taste of the NRL in their own backyard.
“Probably the most important thing I’ve taken out of it is there a lot of young kids who watch the game, follow the game and look up to NRL players as role models but they don’t get the privilege to see games week in, week out like the city kids do,” Sezer said.
“They take it for granted, so it’s a great initiative from council and the NRL to get a game out here and showcase our skills in front of Wagga.”
Members of the Clontarf Foundation and Girls At The Centre were invited to take part in the special session before being presented with Raiders jumpers.
Among those to standout out on the field was Malcolm Charles who thought it was a great experience.
“It was pretty good playing touch with the Canberra boys and to get all the boys out here and have some fun,” Charles said.
“It’s good that they came to the school.”
Abbey has played nine games since linking with the Raiders in 2018 and one of his goals for the season is to play more first grade.
Wagga could provide a good opportunity for him.
“It will be good to play out in front of the country fans,” Abbey said.
“They’re definitely passionate about the sport.”
Sezer is hoping to play in front of a big Raiders crowd and the pair were also in town to launch ticket sales for the clash against Penrith at Equex Centre on May 4.
Ten thousand tickets have been made available for the game.
With the game on the back of the Wagga Gold Cup, mayor Greg Conkey expects a huge weekend in the City of Good Sports.
“It will be a huge green and gold weekend in the city, with the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup Carnival in the days before the Raiders-Panthers clash,” Conkey said.
“This festival of sport will no doubt attract horse racing and NRL fans from around the state, so secure your tickets as soon as possible or you may miss out.”
Tickets can be purchased through www.raidersshop.com.au, the Wagga Visitor Information Centre or Oasis.
Pre-purchase tickets begin at $20 for juniors (aged 5-16), $30 for adults while family tickets (two adults plus two children) are $80.
No ticketed seating will be made available for sale.
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