The National Rugby League (NRL) has released the revised schedule for Rounds 20 and 21 of the NRL Telstra Premiership, headlined by a mini magic triple header in Brisbane and matches in regional centres Mackay and Rockhampton.
Two matches – Sharks-Sea Eagles in Round 20 and Bulldogs-Wests Tigers in Round 21 – have also been scheduled at Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe.
On top of a triple header on Saturday, August 7 at Suncorp Stadium, the NRL has also scheduled three mini magic double headers.
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said the updated schedule was designed to enhance the opportunities for people in Queensland to see the best players in the game.
“Our challenges with the relocation of the competition have also become opportunities to offer unique fan experiences at mini magic days and it is wonderful for us to be able to take the game into heartland rugby league regions,” Mr Abdo said.
“I’d like to thank the Clubs and the broadcasters for their willingness to see these games in Mackay and Rockhampton eventuate.
“The opportunity for a mini magic triple header at Suncorp Stadium, as well as double headers in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast will also continue to maximise opportunities for our supporters in Southeast Queensland to see multiple Clubs and games at one venue.
“Our two Round 20 double headers will be headlined by the traditional all-Queensland rivalry of the Broncos and the Cowboys as well as the Grand Final rematch between the Storm and the Panthers.”
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said the disruption of COVID in the southern states had handed an opportunity and the Mackay region would embrace it wholeheartedly.
“We’ve had NRL trial games here in recent years but Thursday night’s game will be the first regular season game since the Bulldogs and Storm in 2012 and Newcastle and Bulldogs in 2013,” he said.
“The fact the Thursday night game will be live on free-to-air television provides great exposure for our region.”
Mayor of Moreton Bay Regional Council Peter Flannery said hosting a Premiership match was a coup for the region.
“Council is proud to partner with the NRL to make this happen, providing a boost to local businesses recovering from the latest Covid lockdown,” he said.
“We had a sell-out crowd when we hosted the Broncos and Cowboys trial match earlier in the year and I know this game will be just as successful.
“We’re predicting thousands of NRL fans to converge on Moreton Daily Stadium to watch the match, which will be a huge benefit for our local economy.
Rockhampton Mayor Tony Williams said the schedule was a coup for the region.
“Rockhampton welcomes the NRL to Central Queensland, it is fantastic to be part of history with two teams visiting and playing here. This is just another reason why it’s time to put Rocky on your Radar.”
“As the events capital of Central Queensland this is a great opportunity to showcase Rockhampton’s great lifestyle opportunities and we thank the NRL for helping to put Rocky on the Radar.”