Riverina rugby league fans can look forward to a triple header in Wagga Wagga next month with confirmation today (April 23) the Open Age Women’s Country Championships final will be played as part of the city’s festival of footy on 8 May.
Riverina Bulls and Newcastle Maitland Region Knights’ open age women’s teams will clash in the first of two curtain raisers leading up to the National Rugby League premiership game between Canberra Raiders and Newcastle Knights at McDonalds Park.
The NSW Cup game between Knights and Raiders will be the second fixture before the main game kicks off at 3pm.
Wagga Wagga City Council Strategic Recreation Officer Peter Cook said securing the women’s decider as part of the game day schedule was a coup for the city and football supporters in general.
“It’s another game we can showcase and gives Wagga Wagga the chance to promote women’s rugby league which has a strong following in the region, evidenced by the fact our local team is playing in the grand final,” Mr Cook said.
“This will be a great opportunity for young women to get along to the game and see the level of skills and competition which can be achieved at a higher level.
“Council jumped at the opportunity to host the game … it fits well with our game day schedule and provides the community with even more entertainment in the lead-up to the main game.”
Riverina coach and Group Nine president Andrew Hinchcliffe said the timing of the grand final was a perfect fit for the team and the finale to the women’s competition.
“It will be a home game for our players and the Knights will have three teams represented on the day so it made sense to bring the game to Wagga,” Mr Hinchcliffe said.
“Having the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd on such a big promotional day for regional football will cap off a successful competition, and hopefully it’s our players lifting the trophy at the end of the game.”
Raiders CEO Don Furner said it was wonderful news to see a regional team included in the program for the day and the Raiders were proud to share their game day with this important match for rugby league in the Wagga Wagga region.
“The Riverina region is a vital part of Raiders Territory, so to be able to host the match between the Riverina and Maitland regions on a Raiders NRL match day is fantastic,” Mr Furner said.
“We’d like to thank both the Wagga Wagga City Council and Group Nine for their continued support and we look forward to three big games of rugby league to showcase rugby league at McDonalds Park.”
Mr Cook urged people to get in quick to secure their place for the 8 May rugby league bonanza, with just over 1,500 tickets remaining on sale.
“There is always a rush on tickets as game day gets closer. With limited capacity at the venue this year, due to Covid regulations, I’d suggest getting online now to secure your tickets as it is unlikely many will remain this time next week,” Mr Cook said
Game day schedule:
3pm: Raiders v Knights (NRL round 9 premiership)
12.40pm: Raiders v Knights (NSW Cup)
11am: Riverina v NMR Knights (Open Age Women’s Country Championships final)
Gates open 10.45am