CHAM­BERS’ EMO­TIONAL HOME­COM­ING FOR BIG CLASH

NT News - - FRONT PAGE - JACK HISLOP

WILL Cham­bers still re­mem­bers mak­ing the 1043km jour­ney from Nhu­lun­buy to Dar­win for ju­nior foot­ball games.

“It used to be a big thing to come over here and play footy (for Gove) against Dar­win,” Cham­bers said.

“Now to be play­ing in a World Cup here, it’s some­thing special.”

The Kan­ga­roos cen­tre, whose fam­ily still live in the Nhu­lun­buy home he grew up in, says Fri­day’s Rugby League World Cup quar­ter-fi­nal against Samoa will be a ca­reer high­light. Cham­bers never thought the op­por­tu­nity to again play a match in the Ter­ri­tory would arise, let alone a World Cup knock­out clash.

“I haven’t thought too much about it be­cause I don’t want to be over­awed by it all. I’ve played in some big games, but this will be right up there,” he said.

The seven-time Queens­land State of Ori­gin rep­re­sen­ta­tive said it would be an emo­tional oc­ca­sion at Dar­win Sta­dium.

“To be play­ing in a World Cup up here is some­thing I would never have dreamt of,” he said.

“I never would have thought a rugby league match of this im­por­tance would be played in Dar­win, but to be up here and play­ing in it is some­thing special.”

When the tour­na­ment’s sched­ule was re­leased, Cham­bers’ at­ten­tion was im­me­di­ately drawn to the Top End fix­ture, and whether the Kan­ga­roos would be fea­tur­ing.

“I heard early in the year, but I knew it was a quar­ter­fi­nal and it wasn’t as­sured that we were go­ing to be in it,” Cham­bers said.

“When we beat Eng­land in that first fix­ture, that’s when Mal (Meninga) said we’re def­i­nitely play­ing in Dar­win — I got ex­cited and pumped about it all.

“It’s great for the com­mu­nity up here and we saw (on Mon­day) with the sign­ing ses­sion how many peo­ple got be­hind it, there was a queue as long as you could see.

“It was the best turnout we have had for a sign­ing ses­sion.”

Tak­ing big games to ar­eas out­side NSW and Queens­land is im­por­tant for rugby league’s growth, ac­cord­ing to Cham­bers.

“Ev­ery­one is ex­cited and it’s the talk of the town at the mo­ment, which is so good for the com­mu­nity and rugby league in gen­eral — it’s spread­ing its wings,” he said.

A crowd of 12,000 is ex­pected at Mar­rara on Fri­day night for the big­gest league fix­ture the Ter­ri­tory has ever played host to.

“To be play­ing in a World Cup up here is some­thing I would never have dreamt of”

Pic­ture: JUSTIN KENNEDY

Aus­tralian cen­tre Will Cham­bers ad­dress­ing the me­dia in Dar­win yes­ter­day as the build up to Fri­day’s World Cup clash against Samoa con­tin­ues

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.