The rugby league community has rallied in response to Australia’s bushfire crisis, with players and clubs mobilising to help raise funds for the RFS and those hit hardest by the devastating blazes.
Dragons centre Euan Aitken and Sharks half Chad Townsend are auctioning signed jerseys while retired Jillaroo Allana Ferguson and current NRLW star Millie Boyle are also doing their bit to help.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg posted a message of support on Twitter to all the people who have been battling the blazes.
“On behalf of the entire Rugby League community we send our thoughts to everyone across the nation who has been impacted by the bushfires. To all the fireys, volunteers, police, defence force, & emergency services we extend our appreciation & thanks,” he wrote.
“We're working with all our Clubs, States & @NRL players & @RLPlayers & plenty of former players on a coordinated program to support our communities affected by the bushfires.
“It will ensure the entire game & all our fans can be part of it & make a real impact-Will keep you posted.”
The Canberra Raiders are in the process of relocating their NRL squad for 10 days commencing on Thursday to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, to combat the hazardous conditions due to the bushfire smoke in Canberra.
Raiders recruit Curtis Scott is one of several NRL players who are raising funds for the bushfire cause.
Scott has set up a gofundme page, contributing $5000 of his own money, ina bid to raise $25,000.
“Hey everyone let’s all come together and dig deep by donating Anything you can to all of those affected by the bush fires.
People/families have lost loved ones and homes and belongings during this tough time, I couldn’t imagine enduring this.”
The tally was closing in on $20,000 on Sunday afternoon.
Allana Ferguson has been active raising money and collecting donations for the South Coast town of Lake Conjola.
After getting so many items donated - enough to fill three semi-trailers - they had to request no more because of the logistics involved in getting them to the picturesque Shoalhaven township.
Ferguson posted on Instagram on Saturday to say $50,000 had been raised and they were hoping to reach $75,000.
Jillaroos forward Millie Boyle has also set up a gofundme account to raise money for the South Coast town of Cobargo which has been devastated by the fires.
"We don’t know how long it will take to rebuild our town, but we have to start somewhere," she wrote in her Instagram post.
Euan Aitken is auctioning an autographed Anzac Day jersey on eBay to raise funds for the Rural Fire Service.
Chad Townsend is also staging a silent auction of an autographed Cronulla jersey for the RFS.
Titans hooker Nathan Peats and his wife Jade also pledged over the weekend to donate 50% of the profits from their clothing brand Jaded Republic to the bushfire relief efforts.
Penrith have announced they will hold a firefighter fundraiser on Saturday with an open training session and free barbecue breakfast at Panthers Stadium.
Former Test fullback Billy Slater and his wife Nicole are also thinking of the number of marsupials, reptiles, birds and other animals affected by the infernos in their home areas.
The Wests Tigers will provide a number of auction items including signed and framed jerseys to raise much-needed funds with all proceeds to be donated to to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.
The RLPA released a statement on Sunday which said a number of their members had been in contact with ideas about how they can help as a collective.
"We are currently working with the NRL, clubs, states and other stakeholders on a coordinated response to ensure the game’s contribution is most impactful in supporting the needs of those communities impacted," the RLPA said.