Newcastle Knights coach Rick Stone considers it an honour for his team to play on ANZAC Day.
For the second time in the Club’s history, the Newcastle Knights will run out on home soil on ANZAC Day on Saturday, this time proudly wearing their commemorative ANZAC jersey.
“It’s the history and the emotion that goes into the day,” Stone said in the lead up to the match.
“I’ve definitely been a bit envious of other teams when watching them play on Anzac Day.
Many of the Knights have chosen to mark the special day in their own ways before the 2pm game against the North Queensland Cowboys and will no doubt reflect and draw on the courage and sacrifice of those who have served.
“Getting down to the dawn service at Nobbys is always something pretty special,” he said.
“The time we took to visit the War Memorial in Canberra a few years ago was also a good insight for everyone."
This week the Knights' playing group was privileged to be visited by two servicemen who shone light on the experiences of those who served in Gallipoli 100 years ago as well as in conflict and peace keeping missions since.
“They were two boys that have been on tours to Afghanistan and they talked a little bit about Gallipoli, mateship and camaraderie,” he said.
“The purpose was to build a little bit of awareness. It’s always a big day on the calendar.
“We’ve been looking forward to the day and I think the NRL has done a great job promoting the 100 year anniversary of the ANZACS and hopefully our game can do a little bit to contribute to that.
“Our game is the second game of the day and given good conditions and a good crowd, I think we’re in for a top day.”
“Everyone would sort of be mad to not tap into what makes the Anzac Spirit so special.
“I think the Newcastle people will really come out to support the ANZAC Day game because it’s an important fixture and is obviously a terrific game in the history of our country.”