NRL finally gets its Tim Smith grand final

Australian talent will light up the NRL grand final at Suncorp Stadium next Sunday.
Australian talent will light up the NRL grand final at Suncorp Stadium next Sunday.

Sixteen years after Parramatta's 2005 preliminary final choke, a Tim Smith will finally take centre stage at the NRL grand final.

The NRL unveiled its grand final entertainment on Sunday morning with Cold Chisel's Ian Moss to headline.

Moss will lead the pre-game show alongside local talent Kate Miller-Heidke, with the latter to sing the national anthem.

Australian DJs the Stafford Brothers will also feature, as well as Aboriginal didgeridoo player William Barton and instrumentalist Tim Smith, better known as Timmy Trumpet.

It will mark the first time a Tim Smith has played on grand final day, after his namesake was the NRL's rookie of the year in 2005.

In one of the great seasons by a young half, Smith set up 40 tries and scored six himself to take the Eels to the minor premiership.

But Parramatta failed to fire a bullet in the third week of the finals, flogged 29-0 by North Queensland.

Smith never returned to the same dizzying heights.

Meanwhile, grand final week will also mark a return to public events after players were largely in a bubble last year.

The NRL will light up Brisbane City Hall, King George Tower and the Hilton lit up with iconic images from the season from Sunday night.

Both Penrith and South Sydney will appear at a fan day at the King George square - or aptly renamed King Wally Square - on Friday afternoon.

It makes for a different build up to the Panthers, with most players missing the whole grand final experience in their maiden appearance last year.

"It's probably going to be very different," coach Ivan Cleary said.

"Last year just because of being in a bubble back in Sydney, there wasn't a lot of commitments really.

"There's probably a few more this this year which is really cool.

"I am actually really happy with the boys get to that, the grand final fanfare this week. So I think it's important that you enjoy that."

Australian Associated Press