Cowboys, Broncos to face off in trial match in Mackay
THE Last time Travis Waddell played at Stadium Mackay he was wearing a Souths Logan jumper against the Mackay Cutters.
The next time could be in a Brisbane Broncos jumper playing against the North Queensland Cowboys.
As the Daily Mercury intimated three weeks ago, Stadium Mackay will host the Cowboys and the Broncos for a pre-season game on Saturday, February 7, next year.
It's likely to be both teams' first trial of the year, and Waddell is hopeful it will be his debut in Broncos colours after signing from the Newcastle Knights.
"It's exciting; it's the team I always wanted to play for as a young boy and to finally get the chance to play for the Broncos would be a dream come true," the Whitsunday Brahmans junior said.
"I like going back and seeing family and having a look around Mackay and the places I used to play.
"It's good catching up with mates when I'm back as well and they'll definitely come down and watch me play."
The Cowboys v Broncos trial will be Mackay's first taste of NRL action since the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Newcastle Knights' round 17 NRL fixture in 2013, and will be the Cowboys' first visit since February 2013.
Mackay and District Rugby League chairman Glenn Ottaway expected the game to attract more than 7000 people, which he thought would help Stadium Mackay build towards hosting "bigger and better events in the future".
"The Cowboys have always had a commitment to service the regions they operate in - Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Mt Isa - and they run on a rotation basis, but the cards have fallen perfectly for us to get the Broncos," Ottaway said.
"Without too many changes to the infrastructure of the stadium I think we can get about 7-8000.
"If it's a good event for the clubs and the patrons, people will want to come back and we can host bigger and better events in the future."
There are currently four Mackay products at the Broncos - Waddell, Ben Barba, Marmin Barba and Josh Hoffman - but it's unclear whether they'll all be part of the squad in February, with Ben Barba and Josh Hoffman rumoured to be considering moves to other clubs.
Waddell said he would love to play alongside all of them in their home town, and hoped Barba stuck with the Brisbane club.
"I'd love to see Ben stay around. He was always a freak to play with growing up and I'd really enjoy it if he does stay," Waddell said.
The main event on February 7 will follow a trial game between the Mackay Cutters and the Cowboys Under-20s.
Will you go to the Cowboys Vs Broncos game in Mackay?
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