NRL stars pay visit to region
KEEP your head up and keep battling.
That was Gold Coast Titans star Cody Nelson's message to the region's young league talent.
The NRL star, who has been sidelined for the rest of the 2013 campaign with a serious cruciate ligament injury, helped oversee the action at Saturday's Group One Casino RSM Mini Mod Junior Carnival.
Nelson, who grew up playing the game in Mullumbimby, said juniors needed to remain strong through adversity.
"It is very tough," he said. "You work your whole life to get to where you are and then you get injuries like this.
"I have no chance of playing again this year, so I am just focusing on working towards the goal of playing next year.
"I think the biggest thing is to have a positive attitude. Everyone has injuries - it is how you come back from them that matters."
The 24-year-old was joined by teammates David Mead and Matt White at the event, which took place at Queen Elizabeth Park.
Scores of matches took place featuring teams from across the region.
Nelson said fun should be the main goal for juniors dreaming of an NRL career.
"If you take yourself too seriously, I think you get over rugby league pretty quickly," he said.
"The biggest thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself."
Sticking to his state allegiances, Nelson also said he fancied New South Wales to take Origin honours this year.
"I think Queensland is starting to age a bit," he said.
"I think NSW's kicking game has let them down in the past, so that is one area that needs fixing.
"The halves are an important area. I think Mitchell Pearce will go well. New South Wales has picked a good side and I think they can win."