It will be the first ever Test match held in the nation’s capital, but the ARLC have today confirmed that the April Test match next season, will be played in Canberra – which will coincide with the 100 year celebration of the nation’s capital.
Interim ARLC CEO Shane Mattiske was present at the confirmation of the venue, as were ACT Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Sport Andrew Barr, Australian coach Tim Sheens, Raiders Chief Executive Don Furner, and Canberra Raiders captain David Shillington.
To coincide with the Test match on April, the entire week will be filled with a week-long rugby league celebration, set to feature a score of community programs as well as corporate events, all associated with the Canberra region.
â€œThe Canberra Raiders are the most enduring and successful sporting brand in the nationâ€™s capital so itâ€™s great to be able to celebrate the Centenary of Canberra with a world-class Rugby League Test match between Australia and New Zealand,â€ Mr Mattiske said.
â€œCanberra was a wonderful host city during the 2008 Rugby League World Cup but to have the Kangaroos playing here for the first time is a great opportunity for local fans to enjoy the excitement, pride and tradition of international Rugby League.â€
Andrew Barr, the Minister for Sport in the ACT, said that the announcement to play the 2013 Test in Canberra, is a large boost for the game of rugby league in the ACT.
â€œThe Test match will not only be a great chance for locals to come out and see the Australian team in action, it gives visitors even more reasons to visit our city, providing a boost for local tourism operators,â€ Mr Barr said.
â€œHosting matches of this calibre also helps raise the profile of Canberra as the nationâ€™s sporting capital and I thank the Australian Rugby League Commission for their support in securing the Test match for Canberra Stadium in our centenary year.â€
Someone who will take pride in the fact that the game is to be played in Canberra, is Raiders captain David Shillington, who is a 13-test veteran, and believes the game will draw huge attention from Raiders fans.
â€œPlaying for Australia is always a huge honour, but to do it in front of my home club fans at Canberra Stadium would be something special,â€ Shillington said.
â€œRaiders fans are among some of the most passionate in the NRL and will turn out in big numbers to see a Test match in Canberra.â€