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League legends join Newy’s Australia Day Beach 5s battle

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The Newcastle Knights Legends, headed by former NSW State of Origin captain Kurt Gidley, will go into battle against the All Nations, led by ex-NRL player Sione Finefeuiaki, as part of the Newcastle Beach 5s Festival on Australia Day. 

The 26 January festival, to take place on the sand at Nobbys Beach, is part of the city’s annual Australia Day activities. 

Matt Hilder is expected to join the battle at Nobbys Beach this Thursday 26 January.

Beach 5s Australia will launch the popular event with an official welcome at 1pm with the announcement of teams, a smoking ceremony, and kick-off at 1.30pm. 

A star-studded line-up of players is expected to join the stoush.

Crowds can expect to see Chris Adams on the sand as part of the festival.

Australian Test and Queensland State of Origin legend Johnathan Thurston and former Wallaby and league great Lote Tuqiri are both ambassadors for the sport that is growing in popularity.

Beach 5s is a five-a-side sand-based hybrid league, union and touch football game played in some of the most iconic locations in Australia and New Zealand.  

It has skyrocketed in popularity since it hit our shores in 2018.  

This year Beach 5s has teamed up with official event partner The Lottery Office.

Beach 5s is also proudly supporting the Marc Hughes Foundation and Sione’s Foundation through planned activities.

Sione Finefeuiaki will captain the All Nations Legends at Newcastle’s Beach 5s Festival.

Beach 5s Australia director Peter Hickey says he is excited to see the return of the tournament this weekend.    

“It was extremely successful in 2022, with plenty of entertainment, great games of footy and plenty of action by the beach,” he said. 

“It makes for the perfect Australia Day event for people to come down and join in on the action.” 

CEO Jaclyn Wood, from event partner The Lottery Office, said Beach 5s was a thrilling sport for both participants and spectators.

“It’s a spectacular, fast-paced contest… with no line-outs, scrums or conversions,” she explained.

“So, it is the game you know but not as you know it.

“We’re expecting a large crowd – and we can’t wait to meet the Newcastle community.

The Beach 5s Australia Festival will be played at Nobbys Beach on Thursday 26, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January. 

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