THE Brisbane Broncos have wished both Latin America and the Philippines well ahead of next Saturday’s international rugby league match in Brisbane- but what was the one question their stars wanted to know?
Both sides watched from the sidelines as the Broncos sweated it out in a fierce pre-season session at Purtell Park, learning how the NRL professionals do it before their clash at Bishop Park, Nundah, on January 17.
Australian World Cup champions Sam Thaiday and Corey Parker were both particularly generous in stopping to have photos taken with the Latinos and Filipinos, while internationals Alex Glenn, Adam Blair and Daniel Vidot were others to offer words of encouragement.
Indigenous All Star Travis Waddell even went the extra mile, personally introducing himself and shaking hands with every player in attendance.
But what was the question that kept popping up over and over again?
“How do I get myself some burritos?” was the chirp from notorious eater Thaiday, noticing the Guzman y Gomez sponsor logo on the front of the Latin Heat jerseys.
“Oh yeah, burritos. Can we get some? They’re one of my favourites,” added 105kg winger Vidot.
The Broncos had plenty of reason to be seeking sustenance after a two-hour session in the Queensland humidity that left each and every player drenched in sweat.
Training ended with sprints for the forwards, and wrestling and exhaustive game simulations for the backs.
“Have you boys ever trained like that?” offered supercoach Wayne Bennett as he also stopped briefly to greet players from rugby league’s developing nations.
Among the star-struck players were three players from Africa United who will help form a ‘United Nations’ team with the Latin Heat youth squad.
Saturday’s day of multi-cultural league at Bishop Park will feature four games, with the Latin Heat and Philippine Tamaraws meeting in three grades and the Indigenous Wellbeing Centre of Bundaberg facing Queensland Maori.
In the main men’s international match, the Heat and Tamaraws will contest the Magellan Trophy, named after explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who visited both regions in his historic circumnavigation of the globe.
The Philippines are expected to field former NRL players Shane Gray and Paul Sheedy, as well as rampaging State League forward Rez Phillips and quick-stepping Dennis Gordon, brother of Gold Coast Titan Kevin Gordon.
Latin America’s Mexican utility Grantito Chacone will become the first sportsperson to perform the Nahuatl (Aztec) war cry ‘Yaoyotl Och Acelotl’ (The Jaguar Chant) on Australian soil prior to kick-off.
The Latin Heat would like to thank sponsors Guzman y Gomez Mexican Taquerias, S.H.I.E.L.D Security, Link International Student Service Centres, Normanby Hotel, Rumba Latina Entertainment, Chimi.com.au Gourmet Sauces and Brisbane City Council’s Lord Mayor’s Suburban Initiative Fund for making the event possible.
MAGELLAN TROPHY 2015 – Sat Jan 17, Bishop Park, Nundah
4pm – Youth Game – United Nations (Latin America/Africa) v Philippines.
5.10pm – Men’s Development – Latin America v Philippines
6.30pm – Bundaberg Indigenous Wellbeing XIII v QLD Maori
8pm – International – GYG Latin Heat v PAL Philippines Tamaraws