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To coincide with the NRL’s Indigenous Festival of Rugby League, the Newcastle Knights announced a key relationship with the Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative at a media conference on Tuesday at Hunter Stadium.


Past and present NRL identities including Indigenous Knights Dane Gagai and Travis Waddell as well as Chairman Paul Harragon attended to help celebrate the new partnership.


“This partnership will see a closer working relationship between our two organisations and Newcastle Knights support for the Awabakal Deadly Choices program,” Harragon said at the launch.


“Deadly Choices focuses on encouraging people to quit smoking, get regular health checks, eat healthy and exercise daily.


“These are very important and essential health messages for everyone and the program has already achieved a huge amount since its official launch just a few months ago.”


Representatives from Awabakal Co-operative took the opportunity to talk about the benefits of the new partnership that will see the further promotion of its Deadly Choices program.


“Our mob has a passion for sport, in particular, rugby league so this partnership was a great opportunity to reach our community and talk about healthy lifestyle choices,” Awabakal CEO Don MacAskill said.


“The Knights players are a great example of what can be achieved when we make those Deadly Choices and take responsibility for our health.


“It starts by visiting our Awabakal Aboriginal Primary Health Care Centre and having your free 715 health check.”


Knights’ coach Wayne Bennett announced his 20-man squad to play at the Festival’s main match against the First Nations Goannas on Saturday.


The Knights Indigenous jersey, to be worn at the NRL Indigenous Festival of Rugby League trial and the Close the Gap round later in the NRL season was also revealed. CLICK HERE for more jersey details.


Tickets are on sale now for the Festival of Indigenous Rugby League. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets now.


• General admission: Adults $18, Children $8, Family $45

• Reserved: Adults $25, Children $15, Family $65