Warwick plays host to Dragons
WENDELL Sailor didn't realise the size of Warwick when he visited the hometown of his long-time coach Wayne Bennett during the Dragons NRL One Community Adopt-A-Club Program on Saturday.
The day attracted a crowd estimated at 3000, including hundreds to junior coaching with Dragons A-grade players, development staff, ARL development staff and junior coaches.
Sailor can sympathise with Warwick residents affected by flooding as his mother suffered cyclone damage at Sarina and he knows people in Brisbane, Rockhampton and Cairns hit by recent natural disasters.
“All the Dragons are excited to be here,” Sailor said.
“Coach Wayne Bennett has been wonderful to me.
This is where he grew up and I had never been to Warwick.
“There is great community spirit here. We can easily forget what they have been through.”
Sailor toured the damaged areas of Warwick and said he couldn't believe how everything was getting back on track.
During the coaching session for under-16 boys, Dragons A-grade prop Dan Hunt got his group together and said “tackle Wendell” and 20-odd boys took off after a player who made it to the Kangaroos.
Eastern Suburbs junior Ryan Grady was the first to catch Sailor.
“I got him around the legs and a few players helped,” Grady said.
Hunt said it was great to see the smiles on the faces of the children as they responded to different drills.
A former Illawarra junior, Hunt said the environment in country areas like Warwick was very peaceful.
“It is great to be in Warwick,” he said.