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The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have officially launched the Royal Flying Doctor Service Challenge, which will be awarded to the winner of Saturday night’s trial match against the Wests Tigers at ANZAC Oval.

Dyldam Parramatta Eels Co-Captain Tim Mannah along with players Mitchell Allgood and David Gower were given a tour of the RFDS Headquarters in Alice Springs by Senior in-Flight Nurse Kathy Arthurs and pilot Warren Pasley.

Mannah praised the work of the RFDS and sees the game as a great way to honour the work of an Australian institution.

“It’s very exciting, obviously the Royal Flying Doctor Service is important to the Northern Territory government and we’re really excited about the partnership we’ve got here,” he said.

“Over the next four years we’re going to develop a great relationship with us and the Territory, and obviously the RFDS.”

With the Eels committed to one trial and premiership match in the NT until at least 2017, Tim says he’s excited to not just play here but get to know the local community.

“We’d love that - that’s the most exciting thing about this partnership is to really build a relationship with the area, and we want it to be strong,” he said.

“And the way we can show our unity is for fans to turn up on Saturday in their Blue and Gold and cheer for us, and hopefully put on a good show for them.”

Senior In-Flight Nurse Kathy Arthurs says she’s honoured to work for the organisation which saves thousands of lives in remote communities.

“It’s very satisfying to be able to go out and provide a service to people in remote communities who are unwell and would otherwise struggle to get into town to get definitive medical care,” Arthurs said.

RFDS Central Operations Chief Executive Officer John Lynch thanked the Dyldam Parramatta Eels for their support.

“Not only are the Parramatta Eels bringing elite Rugby League to the NT, but they are demonstrating their commitment to the wider community,” Mr Lynch said.

“Community engagement is a pillar of Parramatta’s partnership with the NT and the RFDS is honoured to be a beneficiary of that commitment.

“The Parramatta Eels are to be congratulated for their contribution away from the field, through school visits and community appearances promoting healthy lifestyles, fostering young Rugby League talent and this charity partnership with the RFDS.”

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Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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