Just as the NRL stars from the Eels, Bulldogs, Tigers and Panthers have vowed to help, new Eels recruit Chris Walker had a nervous wait as he found out how his brother, Ben Walker was doing in Queensland.

Walker’s house disappeared in Queensland, but with the spirit of the community, the determination of Walker and his family, and the generosity of the NRL players, things will soon look up for Walker and so many other residents affected by the tragedy.

“Yeah, it’s going under right now,” the Parramatta recruit revealed. “Ben called me only a couple of minutes ago from Ipswich – said he was walking out as the water lapped his veranda.

“Apparently he’s heading off to help mates sandbag their joints.

“My brother Shane is doing the same in Brisbane.

“So if we can just get approval for a more of us up there … ”

In what is a great show of support for the victims of the flood, 80 NRL stars in total are offering to assist with the emergency relief efforts as they head to Ipswich, Toowoomba and Brisbane to help out next week.

Eels CEO Paul Osborne has said that the players from both his side, and the other three sides involved are all keen to go, but there are still some factors preventing the players from going to help at this stage.

The players and CEO’s are waiting for clearance from the Queensland authorities as to whether or not the players can get to the affected areas, and whether the players will have accommodation for the three days that they are in Queensland and the affected areas.

“Like the rest of Australia we simply want to do whatever we can to help,” Osborne said.

“Clean houses, remove rubbish, whatever. We want to show the people of Queensland that we’re here for them, that we care.”

The initiative that was started by Chris Walker himself, all started when he asked Osborne to get a handful of signed Eels jerseys to the affected areas to boost morale where possible.

This produced a domino effect with Osborne calling Eels Chairman Roy Spagnolo, who in turn called the Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenberg, and the Panthers and Tigers CEO’s.

“All of Australia is trying to work out how best to provide assistance and we’re no different,” Greenberg said.

“Obviously we’ll be doing fundraisers but we also decided an appropriate response would be our physical presence.”

As the group will be guided by QLD officials in the flood affected areas when it comes to just how many players will be allowed to travel, the Parramatta Eels have offered their whole NRL squad to help out.

Leading the Bulldogs contingent of players will be David Stagg, and Penrith prop Petero Civoniceva will do the same for the Panthers, as all the players look to assist in whatever way they can.

“And to be honest it’s all a bit overwhelming.” Walker continued. “To think that 24 hours after chasing up four jerseys we’ve got four clubs involved, it’s incredible.

“I know Queenslanders will really appreciate us getting involved with the clean up, school visits, helping wherever we can.

“A few days back, the house my in-laws live in at Toowoomba was 20 metres from being swept away. That’s how bad it is up there … the lucky ones only have their houses flooded.”

By ricky

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