Question of loyalty
LENNOX Head's Chris King will be throwing away any club loyalties in favour of family when the Melbourne Storm play the Parramatta Eels in the National Rugby League trial game in Ballina on Saturday, February 11.
Chris, who works at Elders Real Estate, Lennox Head, is the brother of Matt King, who has been named in the Storm's team to play at Kingsford Smith Park.
But Chris is an Eels man, who played 96 firstgrade games in the second row while he was with the club from 1988 to 1997.
"But I've got to follow the family," he said.
He agreed brotherly love will always take first place over club loyalties.
"We're (his family) are all pretty excited ? my two favourite teams are playing," he said.
Two other Ballina families also will be excited, with former Ballina Seagulls players, James Aubusson and Ian Donnelly, also named in the Storm's lineup.
This will be James Aubusson's first senior hit-out with his new club after transferring from the Roosters' Jersey Flegg side at the end of last year. His brother, Mitch who was recently named Ballina Shire's Sportsperson of the Year, has recently signed with the Roosters.
Other stars to play the trial game in Ballina with the Storm are Queensland Origin representatives Billy Slater and Cameron Smith.
The Eels squad to come to Ballina will include the likes of half-back Tim Smith, second-rowers Dean Widders and Daniel Wagon, fullback Wade McKinnon and winger Luke Burt.
But coach Brian Smith hasn't included other stars like Nathan Cayless, Nathan Hindmarsh, Eric Grother Jnr, Mark Riddell or Glenn Morrison.
However, last year's trial game in Lismore was Tim Smith's first taste of the first-grade football, and he went on to be the NRL Rookie of the Year.
Ballina could be hosting a star of the future.
Tickets are still available from Westlawn Finance office in Tamar Street, or from the Ballina Seagulls Rugby League Club. Tickets cost $18 for adults and $8 for children.
The program kicks off at 1pm with a Group One Under-13s Possible v Probables, followed by Group Two 2005 first grade premiers Macksville v Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League premiers Tweed Seagulls, then Brisbane Easts v Tweed Seagulls, with the main game to be played at 5.45pm.
You can meet the Eels and the Storm players and get autographs at Ballina Fair on Saturday morning. The Storm players will be in Woolworths court from 9.30am to 10.30am, and the Eels will be there from 10.30am to 11.30am.