Rival rugby league clubs Newcastle Knights and the New Zealand Warriors will play a charity match in Greymouth next February to help raise funds for the West Coast region devastated by the deaths of 29 men in last month's Pike River mining disaster.
Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah and his Newcastle counterpart Steve Burraston said they wanted to do as much as possible to provide financial aid and to also lift spirits in a region steeped in rugby league history.
In a joint partnership with the National Rugby League and the New Zealand Rugby League, the two teams will distribute all funds from the match to the Pike River mining relief fund and to West Coast Rugby League.
"This has been a terrible time for the people of West Coast and for all New Zealanders," Scurrah said.
"We were determined to do what we could to provide some support and we're really pleased the Knights have been able to join us in making this event possible, especially with Newcastle's common link with the West Coast through the mining industry."
Burraston said the Knights saw the February 5 match as an opportunity to help lift the spirits of the West Coast community as well as raise funds.
"As a club that has been built on coal mining, in a town that was founded by the same industry, we feel it is our duty to support those who support us."
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said the presence of so many international and NRL stars on the West Coast would do wonders for spirits.
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