NEXT GENERATION FOOTBALLERS: Jayson Bukuya and Steph Hancock with Kuda Ackland, Cooper Newley and Malachi Hickling - all one day hoping to play.
NEXT GENERATION FOOTBALLERS: Jayson Bukuya and Steph Hancock with Kuda Ackland, Cooper Newley and Malachi Hickling - all one day hoping to play.

GALLERY: Hancock returns home for Road to Regions

RUGBY LEAGUE: Home grown hero Steph Hancock returned to the region today, touring Southern Downs schools for the NRL’s Road to the Regions.

The Killarney junior had the opportunity to speak with and meet students from Warwick West State School, one of many school’s covered on the two-day tour.

“I’ve always wanted to come back and give back to where I grew up, and obviously played my very first game of footy,” she said.

“I don’t know how many of the boys get to come on these NRL community tours to their hometown.

“This one was probably extra special because my niece and nephew go here.”

Teaching students in year 3 to 6 about respect, the Brisbane Broncos and State of Origin prop was joined by Cronulla Sharks forward Jayson Bukuya on the tour.

Despite no longer calling Queensland home, Bukuya said the chance to meet the next generation of footballers was one he enjoyed.

“We love it, we would love to get out here more often if we cold but with our schedules and the time with training, it’s just a bit hard but I love coming back and getting out here,” Bukuya said.

“The program is about respect – respecting yourself and respecting others, and just having goof foundations in sport.”

Students weren’t afraid to ask the difficult questions, wanting to know if they players bleed when they get tackled, what it is like to score a try, if there was a lot of pressure in games, and if it was fun to play football.

Wrapping up their tour in Inglewood this afternoon, Bukuya was impressed with the number of talented athletes across the region.

“There was a couple of guns, but they said they weren’t playing footy, so we were trying to sway them into playing,” he said.

“There was a couple of good kids, they’ve all been great at all of the towns and schools we’ve been visiting.”



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