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Northern Territory Chief Minister the Hon. Adam Giles has welcomed the Dyldam Parramatta Eels to Darwin on Thursday.

Presenting co-captains Tim Mannah and Jarryd Hayne with a Northern Territory flag, the Chief Minister also passed on a more unexpected gift: Northern Territory thongs for the Eels NRL squad!

The Chief Minister was warm in his support of the Blue and Gold’s commitment to spend time in the Territory throughout the NT Government’s four-year partnership with the Eels, and invest in Territory communities.

“It’s fantastic to be standing here with Tim Mannah from the Parramatta Eels as the Eels come into what is now Eels Territory,” Giles said.

“It’s the start of a four-year agreement between the Northern Territory Government and the Parramatta Eels. What this relationship does is it gets us into the third biggest economy in the nation from a marketing point of view, it supports us from a tourism point of view, and it also ensures that we have the opportunity to access national rounds of sporting events such as this one.”

“People want to get away from the fly-in fly-out sporting arrangement,” Giles added.

“That’s why the deal that we’ve done with the Parramatta Eels is so much more than just a game, and so much more than just a trial game.”

“It’s about community development, it’s about development of the code, it’s about investing in communities, and that’s the most important part of this game for us.”

The Dyldam Parramatta Eels play the Canberra Raiders on Saturday night at Darwin’s TIO Stadium. Click through to buy your tickets to the game!