Bundaberg firefighter Jack Battleday will join the Australian Firefighter Rugby League Squad to compete against the Australian Defence Force in the NRL curtain raiser on Anzac Day.
Since its inception in 2002, the Anzac Day match between the Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra Dragons has become one of the most significant occasions on the NRL calendar.
The local firefighter will be part of the first ever Australian Firefighter Rugby League Squad.
In the annual event, Australian Defence Force Rugby League will take on the Australian firefighters squad, with the match set to kick off at 1.50 pm on Anzac Day.
The winning team will be awarded the Gallipoli Cup.
Jack said it would be a huge honour to play on such a special day.
“I am incredibly honoured to be playing in this match as a firefighter representing my community,” Jack said.
“Anzac Day holds a great deal of significance for me personally, as it is a day to remember and honour the sacrifices made by those who have served and continue to serve our country.
“As a firefighter, I am acutely aware of the sacrifices that are made by our service men and women, and the important role they play in protecting our nation and its people.”
Growing up in South West Surrey, near London, Jack said he had played a lot of rugby union and it was on his move to Australia seven years ago that he became more involved in rugby league.
“My dad was born here in Australia, so I’m a dual citizen, I came here as [a] professional wake boarder when I was 19.
“I originally planned to come here for six months, but then I realised I loved the country.
“Honestly, I thought I should get a proper job too.
“I thought it would be cool to work with the sole intention of helping people in the community.
“I applied for the fire service, and it all seemed to just work.”
Jack will join six other Queenslanders to be part of the first ever Australian Firefighter Rugby League squad; they will meet with other teammates in Sydney to take on the Australian Defence Force Team on Anzac Day, as a curtain raiser to Roosters v Dragons at Allianz Stadium.
Anzac Day NRL match
- Australian Defence Force Rugby League vs Australian Fire Fighters Rugby League kick-off 1.50 pm and is live streamed on the NRL app and website
- Anzac Day Commemorative Ceremony 3.30 pm
- Sydney Roosters vs St George-Illawarra Dragons NRL kick-off 4.05 pm
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