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The National Rugby League (NRL) is proud to continue its partnership with the Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF) to kick off the eighth annual Beanie for Brain Cancer Round this week across Round 15 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

Holding a special place in the NRL calendar each year, Beanie for Brain Cancer Round brings together Rugby League clubs, players, and fans alike to raise crucial funds for brain cancer through the sale of beanies online, at NRL matches and select retail outlets.

More than one million beanies have been sold since the first Beanie for Brain Cancer Round, helping MHF raise more than $30 million for brain cancer research and patient support.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said the generosity and support of the Rugby League community has made a difference in the lives of many Australians living with brain cancer.

“Beanie for Brain Cancer Round is an inspiring example of the power of the Rugby League community,” Mr Abdo said.

“When Rugby League unites behind an important cause, amazing things happen. We are proud of the contribution the game has made in assisting Mark and his team to combat this disease.

“One million beanies sold is an incredible achievement over the first seven years, and this year we are calling on Rugby League fans to help us take this fight to another level. The contribution of people across all parts of the game is having a real impact on so many lives.”

The concept carries on the legacy of its creator, Nine’s executive producer of NRL, the late Matt Callander who lost his brave battle with brain cancer in 2017.

MHF Founder Mark Hughes, said: “One of the great things in rugby league is it offers so many different opinions. It’s this type of passion from the fans that makes it so special.

“When it’s time for Beanie Round, this changes. We become united as one big team. We can all agree on one thing and we all want to help make a difference, by supporting brain cancer. It doesn’t matter what team you support, we are on the same side and ready to take on our opponent - brain cancer. This is so much more important than a win or a loss.

“The momentum that keeps building, thanks largely to this round, is a game changer. Whilst we haven’t won a premiership yet, we are setting the foundations for a better future and giving hope to brain cancer patients and families. We can’t do this alone, and our focus is expanding our national and international research partnerships to fast track a solution.

“On the field, it’s a competition. But when it comes to curing brain cancer, it’s all about collaboration. By purchasing a beanie, you are part of the movement and we are so grateful to the entire rugby league community for being a part of this, as we continue to tackle brain cancer together.”

Sportsbet will continue its long running support by donating $1000 for every try scored across the round. A partner of MHF since the inception of Beanie for Brain Cancer Round, just 17 tries in the round will mean Sportsbet has donated more than $500,000 to date.

Sportsbet CEO Barni Evans said the week was a testament to what the Rugby League community can achieve when it pulls together.

“Sportsbet is extremely proud to once again get behind the NRL and Mark Hughes Foundation for Beanie for Brain Cancer Round in 2024.

“It’s incredible to think that this year will bring up the $500,000 mark in donations since the first ever edition back in 2017. It’s a great demonstration of what the Rugby League community can do when it comes together and Sportsbet couldn’t be prouder to help raise money and do more for what is such an important cause.” 

Beanie For Brain Cancer Round 2024 features matches in Sydney, Canberra and Auckland and will culminate in Newcastle where Hughes’ former club the Knights host reigning Premiers Penrith at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday 16 June.

The Big Three trek will once again take place alongside Beanie for Brain Cancer Round with 64 trekkers set to walk 150 kilometres from Sydney to Newcastle over three days raising funds and awareness for brain cancer.

In Australia, Brain Cancer kills more children than any other disease and more people under 40 than any other cancer. Supporters are being urged to help raise much needed funds by buying a beanie or donating to the Mark Hughes Foundation. More information is available at

Beanies are also available online from all Lowes Australia stores, participating NSW/QLD/ACT IGA Australia stores or online at 

Brain Cancer facts

  • Survival rates have increased by only 1% over the last 30 years
  • Kills more children than any other disease
  • Only 2/10 people diagnosed will live more than 5 years
  • Kills more people under 40 than any other cancer
  • Receives less than 5% of federal funding for cancer research
  • One person every 5 hours is diagnosed in Australia
Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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