Peter Smith’s Tour Diary: Rhinos working hard to ‘big up’ Downer World Club Challenge

From one rhino to another: Leeds' Jamie Jones-Buchanan gets close with a rhino at Wemibee Zoo in Melbourne. PIC: Leeds Rhinos
From one rhino to another: Leeds' Jamie Jones-Buchanan gets close with a rhino at Wemibee Zoo in Melbourne. PIC: Leeds Rhinos
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LEEDS RHINOS have been working hard to promote Friday’s Downer World Club Challenge.

There was an official launch held on the 89th floor of Eureka building, which offers incredible views across the state of Victoria. Both squads attended, along with local politicians and tourism officials and gifts were exchanged between the Victorian government and Leeds City Council. Councillor Stuart McKenna handed over an ornamental owl and was given a rugby boot, decorated by a local artist, in return.

Opposing World Club Challenge captains Kallum Watkins and Cameron Smith in the Eureka tower, Melbourne. PIC: Leeds Rhinos

Opposing World Club Challenge captains Kallum Watkins and Cameron Smith in the Eureka tower, Melbourne. PIC: Leeds Rhinos

Several players were on media duty yesterday, which was a day off training. They were roped into posing for pictures inside the rhinoceros sanctuary at Werribee Zoo.

Recovering from the journey was the focus on Leeds’ first full day in Melbourne. On Monday they had a gym session at Holden Park, home to Australian Rules (AFL) side Collingwood, followed by a field training session at Gosch’s Paddock, next to AAMI Stadium where Friday’s game will be played.

They will also train there on Wednesday and the players are due to attend a barbecue with some of their travelling fans after Thursday’s captain’s run.

The World Club Challenge venue is part of an Olympic Park which also includes, among others, Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Rod Laver Arena – home of the Australian Open tennis – and Holden Park.

As well as starring in Neighbours, Ryan Hall and Stevie Ward bumped into actor-turned-documentary-maker Ross Kemp, who was in Melbourne to take part in his one-man show Extreme Tales Live on Stage.

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Coaches Craig Bellamy and Brian McDermott at the launch of the World Club Challenge.

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