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Canberra Raiders NRLW trial game heading to Wagga Wagga

Wagga Wagga will host an NRLW pre-season trial game next month, under an agreement between Wagga Wagga City Council and the Canberra Raiders.

At its meeting last night (Tuesday 11 June), Council endorsed entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with Canberra Raiders to host the game at McDonalds Park on Saturday 6 July 2024.

Council staff have been in consultation with Canberra Raiders regarding bringing new elite Rugby League content to the city in lieu of a National Rugby League premiership match in 2024.

Following these discussions, Canberra Raiders approached Council to host the NRLW pre-season trial match against Newcastle Knights, who are defending premiers.

Canberra Raiders CEO Don Furner said the Raiders were proud to take the club's first ever NRLW trial match to Wagga Wagga and continue the strong association with the region.

"We're excited to be able to return to Wagga Wagga this year for this NRLW trial match and showcase the women's game in a city and region that supports us," Furner said.

"We didn't have a trial match for the NRLW in our first season and I know Coach Darrin Borthwick is looking forward to using this game as his major preparation for the season, so all of our stars will be out to press their case for selection come round one of the regular season.

"Although we didn't have the NRL fixture in Wagga Wagga this year, we're excited to return to McDonald's Park and give rugby league fans the opportunity to come and experience the NRLW.

“It's also a really good opportunity to promote women's rugby league and help encourage the next generation of young female players to take up the sport and start their own NRLW dream."

Council’s City Growth and Regional Assets Manager Ben Creighton described it as an exciting announcement for Wagga Wagga and the surrounding region, and for rugby league supporters.

“We are pleased to see the continuation of our ongoing and valuable relations with the Canberra Raiders, which saw our city host four NRL games over five years, between 2019 and 2023,” Mr Creighton said.

“We have a great track record of hosting and supporting sporting events in the city and it’s fantastic to see we will now be adding a pre-season game of this elite women’s competition to that list.

“It’s a great opportunity to put the spotlight on women’s rugby league and give our young female footy players the chance to see their sporting heroes and role models in action.

“The game is also expected to deliver broader benefits to the community, delivering flow-on effects for local businesses who can capitalise on the visitors to the city.”

The pre-season match Canberra Raiders and Newcastle Knights will kick off at 2pm at McDonalds Park on Saturday 6 July 2024.

Admission to the event will be free.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.