Gladstone United are ready to play at the Indigenous Reconciliation Carnival. Gerard Tema, Thaiday Reuben, Ashley Dodd, Sione Tongia and Joe Tuisau.
Gladstone United are ready to play at the Indigenous Reconciliation Carnival. Gerard Tema, Thaiday Reuben, Ashley Dodd, Sione Tongia and Joe Tuisau. Jake Jones

VIDEO | Gladstone unite for carnival

THE BEST of Gladstone men and women's rugby league teams will be assembled to compete in the Ninth Annual Indigenous Reconciliation Carnival held in Rockhampton this weekend.

Gladstone United will field one men's team two women's sides with more than $40 thousand worth of prizemoney up for grabs.

VIDEO: Some of the players' thoughts what it this carnival means to them

United's men's team is made up of players from all different backgrounds that includes Indigenous Australians, Torres Straight Island, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Tonga, Somoa and New Zealand Maori.

Ashley Dodd, who was member of United's 2011 grand final team, has played in all eight tournaments and said it's an honour to play in a competition that symbolises brotherhood.

"It's awesome to represent the community and usually we play against each other, but this allows us to be team-mates," Dodd said.

The 42-year-old enters his 16th season of league in Gladstone - a city that has been his home since childhood.

"It's like there will be mini-rep teams...all the sides will be gun teams," Dodd said.

Gladstone United team manager Conrad Ingra said the Gladstone side is made up of players with NRL and CQ Capras experience.

The quality of the side will put it among the favourites that include last year's winners Bunji United from Rockhampton.

"We have Sione Tongia who represented Tonga in the 2009 Pacific Cup," Ingra said.

Australian Jillaroo Kody House will lead the Gladstone United 1 side and it is the first time since 2012 that Gladstone has fielded a womens team.

CARNIVAL FACTS

16 mens teams

8 womens teams

Men's prizemoney: $20k for the winner

Womens prizemoney: $3k for the winner

Last year's mens winners: Bunji United

13-a-side teams



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