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The annual Beanie for Brain Cancer Round will kick-off on Thursday night, with National Rugby League (NRL) clubs, players and fans once again uniting to raise money for brain cancer research.

The Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF) hopes to raise $3 million and sell 175,000 beanies during this year’s Beanie for Brain Cancer Round, which will see players, Clubs, fans and broadcasters Channel Nine and Fox Sports come together for an important cause.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said the Beanie for Brain Cancer Round grows every year thanks to the support of the Rugby League community.

“Mark Hughes played rugby league with great spirit, but it has been his spirit in fighting and beating brain cancer and then setting up the Mark Hughes Foundation to help save lives that is inspiring,” Mr Abdo said.

“Every year everyone in the game gets behind this cause with passion.

“More than $15 million dollars has been raised over five seasons of the Beanie for Brain Cancer round.

“The sight of the thousands of supporters at games wearing the Mark Hughes Foundation beanies has become a tradition and is symbolic of everyone’s support for the fight against brain cancer.”

Mark Hughes wearing the MHF Beanie at today's launch event at the SCG.
Mark Hughes wearing the MHF Beanie at today's launch event at the SCG. ©NRL Photos

The NRL’s wagering partner Sportsbet will once again donate $1000 for every try scored in Beanie for Brain Cancer Round.

The 2022 Beanie for Brain Cancer Round was launched to coincide with the start of ‘The Big Three’ trek - 45 trekkers walking from NRL Headquarters in Sydney to McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle across three days raising funds and awareness for MHF.

The launch commenced the first leg today from NRL HQ to the Sydney Opera House.

To coincide with the launch, a new Mark Hughes Foundation Centre for Brain Cancer Research at the University of Newcastle has been confirmed, building on the existing partnership between MHF and the University of Newcastle.

The MHF has now committed $15 million over five years to establish a dedicated research team and centre, while the University of Newcastle has contributed $10 million to the project.

“This is a game changing step for brain cancer research in Australia and something we have been working towards since 2014. More progress is urgently needed to improve the outlook for brain cancer patients – who are often in the prime of their lives, like myself – and their families,” Mark Hughes said.

“We will leave no stone unturned, we must get results as the clock is ticking for so many Australians.

“To every single person that has supported MHF and bought a beanie over the last eight years, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. We are giving hope to so many, including myself.”

Round 16 will this year feature matches in Sydney, Newcastle, Townsville and also Auckland.

In Australia, Brain Cancer kills more children than any other disease and more people under 40 than any other cancer. Supporters are being urged to help raise much needed funds by buying a beanie or donating to the Mark Hughes Foundation.

More information is available at

Beanies will be available online from all Lowes Australia stores, participating NSW/QLD/ACT IGA Australia stores or online here.

Brain Cancer statistics

  • Survival rates have increased by 1% over the last 30 years
  • Kills more children than any other disease
  • Only 2/10 people diagnosed will live more than 5 years
  • Kills more people under 40 than any other cancer
  • Receives less than 5% of federal funding for cancer research
  • One person every 5 hours is diagnosed in Australia