Barnsey’s back: NRL reveals grand final entertainment line-up

Jimmy Barnes will headline the NRL’s grand final entertainment as part of an ensemble of acts showcasing top Australian artists.

The pre-game show will include “Barnsey”, Diesel and special guest Josh Teskey, alongside award-winning Indigenous singer-songwriter Emma Donovan.

Breakout Eurovision star Sheldon Riley will provide Accor Stadium with a cinematic performance, while Australian hip-hop legends Bliss n Eso (featuring JOY.) will perform their hit Moments, paying tribute to the game’s retiring players.

The NRL has opted to go local with its line-up to support the Australian music industry following the Covid shutdowns. The result is a return to the NRL stage for Barnes, who has previously performed on rugby league’s biggest day.

“Grand final day is a chance for us to all come together and celebrate with the best of the best,” Barnes said.

“I can’t wait to perform with an exciting all-Australian pre-game show line-up in front of a full house again.”

Barnes won’t be the only member of his family to perform. Daughter Mahalia Barnes will headline the NRLW grand final pre-game show alongside Western Sydney hip-hop artist A.GIRL and Donovan to deliver a re-imagining of iconic Aussie classic The Real Thing.

Jimmy Barnes is back to rock the NRL.Credit:SMH

“I’m really looking forward to singing with A.GIRL and Emma Donovan at the 2022 NRLW grand final’s first-ever pre-game show,” Mahalia Barnes said.

“It’s going to be a great afternoon filled with music and footy. Let’s hear it for the girls!”

The performers were handpicked to reflect the diversity of the home-grown local scene and league fans for what will be a sell-out clash.

The pre-game entertainment will also include a national anthem performance by Alinta Chidzey, star of Moulin Rouge! The Musical – The Broadway Spectacular.

“What an honour it is to sing the national anthem before one of the most exciting games in Australian sport,” Chidzey said. “Just before the grand final game kicks off is so electrifying as it’s when all the nerves and excitement are at a peak. The whole stadium comes together, united in anticipation, before it all begins.”

Riley, who has performed on shows including The Masked Singer, added: “Performing at the NRL grand final is such an insane moment for me in my career. To be honest, it’s a stage I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform on. I’m so honoured and excited to be bringing my voice to this iconic event.”

Grand final tickets are available at and start from $99 for adults, $89 for juniors and a family pass from $289.

Stream the NRL premiership 2022 live and free on 9Now.

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