Statement by: Yvette Berry, MLA
Canberra will host its first rugby Test match in seven years when the Wallabies face Argentina during the Puma’s Australian leg of the 2017 Rugby Championship.
Today I was joined by Australian Rugby Union (ARU) Chief Operating Officer Rob Clarke, Brumbies Head Coach and Wallabies Assistant Coach, Stephen Larkham, and Brumbies and Argentina scrumhalf, Tomas Cubelli to launch the match at GIO Stadium.
This cements Canberra as an international City which can be relied upon to host world-class sporting events.
The inclusion of GIO Stadium as a venue on the Rugby Championship rotation puts Canberra in focus, not only amongst the three other competing nations, but the entire international rugby community.
The Rugby Championship is the pre-eminent annual international series in the world, featuring the four semi-finalists from the recent Rugby World Cup. Through this game against Argentina, Canberra will enjoy exposure to Japan, the Americas, Africa, the South Pacific and Eastern Europe.
We are proud to partner with the ARU on this Test to promote Canberra as a visitor destination and now with direct flights from Singapore and Wellington it is easy for Asian and New Zealand fans to attend the game.
The Wallabies last two games in Canberra were both sell-outs, despite near freezing conditions against the Italians in 2009 and Fiji in 2010. Given that this match is against a stronger opposition and in Canberra’s spring time, I am expecting a similar level of interest when tickets go on sale on 2 May.
Since the tournament expanded to four teams in 2012, Wallabies v Pumas Rugby Championship matches have been played on the Gold Coast and in Perth, making 2017 the first time a game has been scheduled in Canberra.
Argentina has played a single Test match in Canberra in 2000, when they were soundly beaten by the Wallabies, 32-25.
The Wallabies rugby Test against Argentina has been bookended by two rugby league Tests at GIO Stadium in 2017, first against New Zealand in the Anzac Test and then France during the Rugby League World Cup.
All three fixtures will provide local football fans with plenty to cheer about over the next 12 months, while attracting thousands of visitors to the ACT.
The Wallabies and the Pumas will face off at GIO Stadium, Saturday 16 September 2017. Tickets go on sale 2 May.