NRL players are backing injured mates

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 18: Jarryd Hayne of the Eels wears the #16 jersey in respect for Alex McKinnon during the round 19 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Pirtek Stadium on July 18, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images) Round 19, NRL 2014, Pictures: Getty Images

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 18: Jarryd Hayne of the Eels wears the #16 jersey in respect for Alex McKinnon during the round 19 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Pirtek Stadium on July 18, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images) Round 19, NRL 2014, Pictures: Getty Images

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 18:  Greg Inglis of the Rabbitohs wears the #16 jersey in respect for Alex McKinnon during the round 19 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Pirtek Stadium on July 18, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images) Round 19, NRL 2014, Pictures: Getty Images

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 18: Greg Inglis of the Rabbitohs wears the #16 jersey in respect for Alex McKinnon during the round 19 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Pirtek Stadium on July 18, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images) Round 19, NRL 2014, Pictures: Getty Images

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 20: Robbie Farah of the Tigers wears #16 as a tribute to injured Knights player Alex McKinnon during the round 19 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on July 20, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images) Round 19, NRL 2014, Pictures: Getty Images

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 20: Robbie Farah of the Tigers wears #16 as a tribute to injured Knights player Alex McKinnon during the round 19 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on July 20, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images) Round 19, NRL 2014, Pictures: Getty Images

IN ROUND 19 of the NRL there was the home team, the away team and . . . Alex's team.

And there was always ever going to be one winner.

More than $1 million has been raised so far during the Rise for Alex round in support of injured Newcastle forward Alex McKinnon who was left with a "devastating spinal injury" after a lifting tackle this year.

The money will be used to pay medical bills and to pay for housing suitable for his mobility and movement, essential physiotherapy equipment and treatment as he strives to walk again.

The entire round 19 was dedicated to McKinnon.

Each game featured an emotional pre-game ceremony and teams walked out to the ground side-by-side to show their support.

Fans did their part, too, by donating and buying Rise for Alex wristbands.

Several of the game's top stars replaced their traditional number with the No.16 jersey — the jersey McKinnon was wearing during the the round-3 clash with Melbourne. One of those was Eels fullback Jarryd Hayne.

Hayne has put his signed jersey and boots up for auction to help another person doing it tough — Curtis Landers, 15, who suffered a neck injury at Port Macquarie this year.

"Alex's injury has raised a lot of awareness and educates even myself about these kinds of injuries that can happen, as we've also seen with Curtis," he said. "I've heard a lot about Curtis through Hodko [Bulldogs halfback Trent Hodkinson] at Origin camp. I hope raising a few dollars can help out in a small way."

Bid for Hayne's boots and jersey: parraeels.com.au.

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