The Parramatta Eels will face the Penrith Panthers in a pre-season trial this weekend (Saturday 29 February) in Bega, to support the recovery of the bushfire devastated NSW South Coast region.
Ahead of the clash, the NRL, Panthers and Eels will unite to host a three-day festival of footy to help the Sapphire Coast get back on their feet after the bushfire devastation.
Along with community initiatives, tribute dinners and player visits, the festival will conclude at Bega Recreation Ground with the Eels v Panthers pre-season trial match followed by a free concert to be headlined by ARIA award winning artist Amy Shark and rising country musician Brad Cox.
The Eels will fly down to the Sapphire Coast on Thursday, with school visits from 10/10:30am followed by a NRL State of Mind activations in Moruya and Narooma.
The Eels will then have a Parramatta Eels Meet & Greet at Cobargo Hotel from 7pm, along with a special guest appearance from Eels legend Michael Cronin. The meet & greet will give residents and locals an opportunity to meet players from the Eels squad along with plenty of giveaways and a free meal for attendees (capped at 250 people).
On Friday 28 February, the Eels will have their Captain’s Run training session at Bega Recreation Ground from 10:30am with a players meet and greet after the session.
Ahead of kick off (4pm) on game day, Bega Recreation Ground will open at midday with the Andrew Johns Cup (12:05pm) and Laurie Daley Cup (1:40pm) kicking off before the NRL pre-season trial.
The pre-season trial between the Eels and Panthers will kick off at 4pm and will be broadcast nationally by FOX Sports, Channel Nine, Telstra LivePass and free on the NRL App.
Players will sign autographs after the game with the live concert commencing from 6:15pm, immediately following the trial match, including local artists Sam Stevenson as well as Matt Glass & The Loose Cannons, alongside Amy Shark and Brad Cox.
The live site will include a Kids Zone, Food Stalls, and will show the Panthers-Eels trial on the big screen.
The clash was officially announced a sell-out earlier this week, with all profits from ticket sales and donations made through Ticketek to go to The Salvation Army’s Rural Assistance Appeal which helps rural communities and individuals who’ve been affected by the drought and bushfires.