In a room full of grand final greats, former Titans forward Anthony Laffranchi is in no doubt which player is his biggest inspiration.
Laffranchi will be one of the guests of honour at the NRL Finals Preview Breakfast at Brisbane’s Pullman Hotel on Friday 13 September, a charity fundraiser supporting the Preston Campbell Foundation.
Grand final stars Darren Lockyer, Petero Civoniceva, Andrew Ryan, Clinton Toopi and Laffranchi will join 2003 premiership winner Preston Campbell on a star-studded panel to be interviewed by host and 2000 grand final winner, Ben Ikin.
Laffranchi, currently the Football Manager at the Gold Coast Titans, played with or against all of those players during his 11-year NRL career with the Wests Tigers and the Titans.
But he said the passion that Campbell carried through his playing days and into his post-footy career with the Preston Campbell Foundation was what set him apart as an inspiration in rugby league.
“Preston was the perfect teammate because he always put the team first,” Laffranchi said.
“When I arrived at the Titans, it was the leadership and influence of Preston, Luke Bailey and Scott Prince that set the standards that we lived by. For Preston, the community was at the centre of all we did.
“As a player I was inspired by what Presto did on and off the field, but I gained a real insight into his passion and what drove him.
“I was fortunate to work alongside Presto as a mentor for Indigenous kids, and to see how passionate and selfless he was about making life better for the people that shared his culture and his community made him an even bigger champion.
“He achieved so much in the game, yet he never made those achievements about himself. He was able to use his success to inspire so many kids, and give them the hope that they had a future and could pursue their dreams.
“He went out of his way to show that everybody’s job had value, and that nobody was below him.
“There are a lot of players who have been able to inspire people with what they have achieved on the field. Preston is unique because he has been able to directly influence people’s lives through the strength of his work and passion off the field.”
Tickets for the NRL Finals Preview Breakfast, featuring Preston Campbell, Anthony Laffranchi, Darren Lockyer, Andrew Ryan, Petero Civoniceva, Clinton Toopi and Ben Ikin, are available now. Tickets are $100 for individuals, or $800 for a table of eight. Prices include GST.
A hot, plated breakfast will be served, with additional entertainment across the morning.
This is the inaugural charity event in support of the Preston Campbell Foundation, with all proceeds supporting its community initiatives.
For bookings, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call John on 0418 196 603
For event sponsorship, email: email@example.com, or call Matt on 0417 685 616