For quite some time, people have talked about getting high-profile games played in country regions – and with Mudgee getting the City-Country clash, it is now Orange’s turn to host an international game.
Local side, the Orange Barbarians, who play in the Centennial Coal Cup, will play host to Mount Hagen, a team from Papua New Guinea, from Friday February 17 to Sunday February 19.
The PNG side will first play an Aboriginal All-Stars team on the Friday at Endeavour Oval, before backing up in time to play the Barbarians on Sunday.
It is an opportunity that does not come around very often for a town like Orange, and Troy Sweeting, the president of the Barbarians club, knew that they could not pass up the chance to bring the PNG side down for a rugby league game.
â€œCouncil approached myself and we talked about us playing this game,â€ he said.
â€œTheyâ€™re footy-mad over there (in PNG) and I put it to the fellas, and we thought itâ€™d be a good idea to get an Aboriginal All Stars team together, and thatâ€™s where the concept started.
â€œItâ€™s a good opportunity to show off local talent.
â€œItâ€™s good for the Aboriginal community.â€
With the PNG side visiting, Sweeting says that it will allow the two cultures to intersect with each other.
â€œWe have no idea what to expect,â€ he said.
â€œItâ€™s just all about showing off two cultures – ourâ€™s and theirs.â€