The Australian kangaroos dedicate their Rugby League World Cup Match against Scotland tomorrow morning [AEDT] in memory of Redcliffe Dolphins player Liam Hampson who died tragically this week in a nightclub accident in Barcelona.
Brisbane Broncos NRL’s Pat Carrigan is also expected to take his place on the team, despite being a friend of Hampson’s and reportedly visibly upset when he left a civic reception early Wednesday night.
Hampson, 24, was on a boys’ tour of Europe with Gold Coast Titans player AJ Brimson and Brisbane Broncos Jordan Riki and Jesse Arthars when he went missing after a night out at the Sala Apolo Nightclub.
Hampson in the picture with his proud parents after a game for the Redcliffe Dolphins
Hampson plays for the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Queensland Cup rugby league competition
He was found 30 hours later by cleaners on an internal balcony of the Spanish nightclub, while police suspected he had fallen 10 meters to his death in a tragic accident.
The Kangaroos will wear black armbands during their match against Scotland at Leigh Sports Village and there will be a minute of silence before the match which starts at 5:30 am AEDT.
Australian coach Mal Meninga also gave his players three days off this week to mourn before the game.
“It’s tragic news,” Meninga said.
Kangaroos coach Meninga has issued a statement regarding Hampson, saying the Australian side will dedicate their RLWC game against Scotland to him and his family
Carrigan walks with Fiji’s King Vuniyayawa during the 2021 Rugby League World Cup Pool B match between Australia and Fiji at Headingley
“On behalf of the Kangaroos here, we extend our condolences to Liam’s family and friends. It was a sad day and we obviously pay our respects.
“Hopefully they’ll get through it one day. We are all behind them and in mind we will play for them tomorrow.”
Brisbane Bronco’s Pat Carrigan has been shaken by the death of his friend, but Meninga said the hard-working forward was eager to play against Scotland.
‘He wants to go out,’ said Meninga,
“He’s comfortable with that at the moment. We’re still 24 hours away, so we’ll see how it turns out.
“They’re okay. They clearly suffer. Everyone needs time to grieve. Sometimes you just hop back on the bike and carry on – that’s one way to deal with it too.
“At some point, all his close friends, especially here, will mourn. We will support them as best we can.
“Being so far from home is part of it.”
More than $70,000 has been raised for Hampson’s family in a Gofundme campaign launched by Riki.
“On behalf of Liam’s family and friends, we want to support his wonderful family in helping Liam get home,” Riki wrote.
Supporting his family during this difficult time. As we all know, Liam was a beautiful soul who brought people together with his love, wisdom and jokes.
“Liam was an outstanding talent on and off the football pitch helping his teammates win a nail-biting match or teaching children and many others about life and its wisdom. We love Liam and any donation would go a long way.”
Hampson was a welcome and popular young man in the rugby league community
Jordan Riki honors Hampson who is pictured training with the Redcliffe Dolphins
Meninga has made a host of changes for the game against Scotland after the NRL stars of the grand final took a break from their opening game against Fiji.
Nathan Cleary, Isaah Yeo, Liam Martin, Matt Burton, Campbell Graham and Lindsay Collins will all make their Kangaroos debuts.
“It was ideal for the players in the grand final to rest in the opening game and I am looking forward to seeing them play against Scotland,” Meninga said.
“I was happy with our performance against Fiji, but I know we need to improve throughout the tournament.
“We have new players this week as we continue to build combinations for the rest of the tournament.”
1. James Tedesco (c) 9. Josh Addo-Carr 12. Matt Burton 10. Jack Wighton 19. Campbell Graham 7. Cameron Munster 14. Nathan Cleary 6. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 20. Harry Grant 13. Patrick Carrigan 17. Angus Crichton 21. Liam Martin 24. Isaah Yeo (vc). Interchange: 3. Ben Hunt 15. Lindsay Collins 4. Valentine Holmes 5. Jake Trbojevic (18th man Daly Cherry-Evans)
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