December 13, 2019
There’s going to be a huge weekend of rugby league coming up in February with Cherbourg hosting its first two-day carnival since 1988 and former NRL greats returning to show off their skills.
The League Carnival was officially launched at Jack O’Chin Oval in Cherbourg this week.
It will be played on February 7-8 with 12 men’s and six women’s teams.
Each team will play three games: two on Friday and one on Saturday.
If 18 teams nominate, there’ll be $10,000 in prize money for the team that wins the Open Men’s competition, and $6000 for the winner of the women’s competition.
The finals of the two competitions will be played before the International Legends of League – who were such a big hit in the community last February – take to the field to prove they’ve still got what it takes against the Cherbourg Legends.
The carnival is being organised by Cherbourg Council and sponsored by Sellwood Constructions, Total Building Solutions, CRAICCHS and the Cherbourg Hornets.
Jason Holznagel, from Total Building Solutions, said it meant a great deal for him to be involved in the community.
But he won’t be running on with the Legends …
“My legs won’t take it any more,” he joked.
Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray said was good to have the Legends of League players coming back.
“The community is starting to get a buzz. They’ll be ready come February 7-8,” he said.
Mayor Murray said the “Murris On Bikes”, who made such a big impression at the last event when they ferried the players on to the field, were also looking at coming back.
“It’s going to be good. Having things like this for the community … that’s what it’s all about, bringing the community together,” Mayor Murray said.
Former Maroon Craig Teevan said he had been working with the Legends of League for the past five years.
He said the event in Cherbourg earlier this year was one of the best that they’d had.
“The guys from the community were real keen for us to come back and have another run,” he said.
“Certainly for a community of this size, to be able to get the support to bring the game back is a credit to the community.”
Craig said the 2020 event would be a “Festival of League”.
“Rather than just being a stand-alone event on the Saturday, it’s going to be two days of rugby league and some good footy played,” he said.
“It should be great for the town.”
The Legends will also be visiting local schools to inspire young rugby league players during their visit.
Cherbourg councillor Tom Langton – who pulled the footy boots back on for the last event – said the carnival would help lift the spirits of the town.
There’ll be some familiar faces among the Legends returning.
John Hopoate (who gave the crowd “the finger” last time, to great applause) will be coming back along with Cliff Lyons.
But there will also be about six new players from last year.
Speaking to Cherbourg Radio, International Legends of League organiser Troy Byers said team registrations for the carnival were still being taken.
“We want teams from outside the community to come to Cherbourg,” he said.
“Cherbourg always goes to every other carnival and spends money. Let’s do the opposite and bring them back here.”
The teams for the Australian and Cherbourg Legends games will be announced soon.
“It’s going to be a great couple of days for Cherbourg,” Troy said.
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