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The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys will recognise the important contribution of the Australian Defence Force to our community with a special Anzac tribute match at 1300SMILES Stadium this Saturday.

The Cowboys take on the Knights for NRL Anzac Round, with gates opening early for three games of rugby league and a host of Defence activations on-field and around the grounds.

The dedicated round, held annually in conjunction with Anzac Day, forms part of a game-wide initiative that will see every NRL club, including the Cowboys, pause to honour and reflect on the sacrifices that thousands of service men and women have made in protecting Australia, New Zealand and countries around the world.

Activities at Cowboys v Knights include:

  • NRL team wearing their 2017 Commemorative jerseys
  • Curtain-raiser: Army Thunder v Palm Island Skipjacks – Bill Coolburra Shield
  • On-field pre-game: 1RAR band, formal Tri-service
  • Around the grounds: Defence displays

Cowboys CEO Greg Tonner said that Anzac Round is an important event on the rugby league calendar for the entire North Queensland community.

“Our club has close ties with the Defence Force and we have seen first-hand their commitment to the North with our recent visit to communities affected by Cyclone Debbie, where Army personnel were heavily involved in the recovery efforts,” Mr Tonner said.

“I know our team will be very proud to wear the Commemorative jersey in recognition of all of our ADF members, past and present.”

Australian Defence Force 3rd Brigade Sports Officer Major Jason Selman said the 2017 Anzac Round is particularly important to the 3rd Brigade as they pay tribute to a local veteran.

“This year we honour the memory of Sapper Bill Coolburra by contesting the shield, named in his honour, playing the Palm Island Skipjacks,” Major Selman said.

“Bill Coolburra was a Vietnam veteran and Palm Island community leader held in high esteem by all who knew him.”

The Cowboys’ Commemorative jersey features the Townsville cenotaph on The Strand – a representative of all North Queensland memorials – and the symbolic red poppy wreath, a powerful reminder of the service of Australia’s men and women across the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and Australian Army.

The Cowboys Team Shop ( will donate $5 from the sale of every supporters’ Commemorative jersey to Townsville Legacy.

Anzac tribute match – Saturday 22 April, 1300SMILES Stadium
Game day guide

1pm:           Gates open
1.10pm:      Bill Coolburra Shield – Army Thunder v Palm Island Skipjacks
2.50pm:      NYC Cowboys v Knights
4.25pm:      Pre-game show, including 1RAR band and Tri-service
5.30pm:      NRL Cowboys v Knights

Main image: Cowboys Coen Hess and Patrick Kaufusi in the 2017 Commemorative jersey

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.