The NRL has pledged to donate $100 from every point scored in this year’s finals series to help struggling farmers.
Farmers will also be able to apply for finals tickets for free.
NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said rugby league’s heartland is in the bush, and the code needed to do something.
“[It’s a] no-brainer this one. Ninety nine per cent of New South Wales is in drought, and a huge number of our players are from regional NSW,” Greenberg said.
“So it wasn’t if we were going to do it, it was what we were going to do, and how to make it genuine.
“It’s a three-pronged attack. We’ll donate $100 for every point scored during the finals series, and our broadcast partners Channel Nine have said they’ll match that.
“Second of all, we’ll offer as many free tickets as we can for farmers around the state that are doing it tough. So they can have some time off and come watch the footy.
“And thirdly, anyone who buys tickets to week one and two of the finals series will be able to donate specifically to the drought.”
Last year’s finals series saw 319 points scored in the nine matches from elimination finals to the grand final.
“The bush is suffering, so when that happens, we need to jump in and do something,” Greenberg said.
“Rugby League has a big loud voice, a massive profile so when we can do something for good we must get in there and do it.
“Our players and coaches are right behind it as well, so I’m expecting everyone to jump in and get behind it.”
Tickets for farmers will be available through NRL.com.
“We want to welcome all those farmers who have been doing it tough, take a little bit of time out and join us for a game. If they can’t, then we’ll try to do our bit by putting some money back into their pockets.”
Last week the Penrith Panthers confirmed they would donate $200,000 to The Big Dry Drought Appeal.