NRL Premiership games set for Gladstone and Toowoomba
12 October 2017
Two towns in Rugby league heartland will host NRL premiership matches for the first time in history under a deal struck between Tourism and Events Queensland and the Gold Coast Titans.
Tourism and Major Events Minister Kate Jones said the people of Gladstone and Toowoomba were NRL tragics who deserved to host premiership games and thanked both councils for their support in hosting the fixtures.
“Because of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, two Gold Coast Titans home games had to be moved and I’m happy to announce they will be played in Gladstone and Toowoomba,” she said.
“Toowoomba and Gladstone have rich rugby league histories and I’m confident these games will be well supported by local fans.
“It’s only thanks to the Commonwealth Games that we are able to take these premiership games into rugby league heartland.
“Bringing these games to regional Queensland will be more than just a one-off – this deal will help us to showcase regional Queensland to a national audience and confirm our reputation as the home of rugby league.”
Titans CEO Graham Annesley said the fixtures provided the Titans an opportunity to grow the sport in regional Queensland.
“Minister Kate Jones and Tourism and Events Queensland are to be complimented for minimising the impact on the Titans regular season, whilst ensuring the club is not commercially disadvantaged as a result of the unavoidable relocation during a period when the eyes of the sporting world will be on the Gold Coast,” he said.
“Whilst we would have obviously preferred to played all of our home games at Cbus in front of our loyal members and fans, we see this as a great opportunity to grow our brand and club’s footprint across Queensland.
“As the 2018 season draw has not yet been released, we still don’t know the exact rounds or opponent for each match, but the matches will fall somewhere between rounds two and six”.
Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said rugby league was an important part of Gladstone’s history and culture and said he couldn’t wait to see the Titans play.
“Not only is this a great announcement for the people of Gladstone – it’s a win for local businesses,” he said.
“It’s great to see the Palaszczuk Labor government looking after Gladstone.”
Gladstone Regional Council Mayor Matt Burnett welcomed the announcement.
“We have been working with the Gold Coast Titans for a number of months to secure this game for Gladstone,” he said.
“Next year we celebrate 100 years of rugby league in Gladstone and what better way than to host the NRL.
“We are very excited to welcome the Gold Coast Titans and prove to the NRL that Gladstone is rugby league heartland and hopefully work towards hosting a competition round annually.”
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said southern Queensland rugby league fans were the big winners following the announcement that the Gold Coast Titans would line up for a National Rugby League match in Toowoomba in 2018.
“Toowoomba and South West Queensland have a rich rugby league tradition and I’m positive the Titans and their yet-to-be-named opponents will pack Clive Berghofer Stadium,” Mayor Antonio said.
“Sports fans will be eager to line up for a slice of rugby league history as the match will be the first regular season NRL fixture to be played in Toowoomba.
“Titans half Ashley Taylor enjoyed junior stints in Toowoomba and further west and will be a major drawcard in his own right.
“Toowoomba has hosted numerous NRL pre-season fixtures in recent years and now league followers will be treated to the real deal.
“As the current home to the Coca Cola Queensland PGA Golf championships and the recently completed Hutchinson Builders Toowoomba International tennis tournament, Toowoomba is well versed in hosting top flight sporting fixtures.”
The Titans’ opposition is still to be confirmed but the Gladstone game will be played at Marley Brown Oval while the Toowoomba game will be played at Clive Berghofer Stadium.