Four local rugby league teams from the Wagga Wagga region will have the opportunity to be part of an NRL fixture, when the Raiders play the Panthers in Wagga Wagga on May 4 at McDonald’s Park.
The Junee Diesels, Wagga Magpies, Wagga Kangaroos Red and the Wagga Brothers, will have the chance to take to the field for Huawei Mini-Footy at half-time of the NRL match between Canberra and Penrith.
At every Raiders home match in 2019, Huawei Mini-Footy gives the stars of tomorrow from various under 8s competitions from the ACT and surrounding regions, the opportunity to play the game they love on the big stage and Wagga Wagga will be no exception.
Raiders Captain Jarrod Croker said the chance to be part of the action would be a huge thrill for young players from the region and hopefully it would inspire them to go on and one day play for the Raiders.
“There’s nothing better than seeing the young kids on the big stage playing the game we all love and it’s great to have local kids playing at half-time of our match in Wagga Wagga,” Croker said.
“Having matches like this gives kids the chance to play in front of a big crowd and we hope to one day see them in green Raiders jerseys.”
Wagga Wagga will be inundated with visiting footy fans for the Raiders-Panthers clash, with many of the tickets purchased by people outside the Riverina.
It’s not only Raiders fans from Canberra making the trip –tickets have been bought from across the state and as Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
Strategic Asset Planner (Parks & Recreation) Ben Creighton said the NRL match in Wagga Wagga is one of four regional fixtures that are being supported by Destinations NSW.
“Destinations NSW has assisted in marketing and promoting the Raiders-Panthers game as well as providing logistical and event support,” he said.
“The NRL game on the back of the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup Carnival is set to have a considerable impact on the local economy, as well as promote all our city has to offer year-round.
“Visitors from Sydney and Canberra have taken advantage of our Green and Gold accommodation packages to attend both the races at the Murrumbidgee Turf Club and the rugby league.
“Events like these helps add to the 1.3M people who visit our city each year and make Wagga Wagga a destination.”
The Raiders are in red-hot form leading into their 4 May clash with Penrith at McDonald’s Park.
With visitors flocking to the city for both the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup Carnival and the NRL match, locals are being urged to get in quick or risk missing out.
The Green Machine’s supporters are snapping up tickets fast, with 60 per cent of the 10,000-plus tickets sold and the rest expected to go quickly over the next week as excitement builds for the game.
The last major rugby league game in Wagga Wagga – City-Country Origin in 2015 – was a sell-out.
With good weather predicted for the Saturday afternoon fixture, a big crowd is set to descend on McDonald’s Park and take part in the iconic Viking Clap to strike fear into the Panthers and ignite the Raiders players.
Tickets can be purchased online at raidersshop.com.au until 9am on Monday April 29. Tickets can still be purchased in-person in the lead up to the game at the Visitor Information Centre on Tarcutta Street or the Oasis Aquatic Centre on Morgan Street.