The South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Newcastle Knights will bring the NRL to Cairns in what promises to be a blockbuster round 21 fixture to be played on Sunday 3 August at 3pm at Barlow Park.

Tickets are now on sale to the general public as of today with the Rabbitohs and Cairns Regional Council working on seating structures in the south-west try zone area to enhance the viewing experience at Barlow Park, as the Club aims to surpass last year’s crowd of 16,118 with a capacity attendance this August.

With stars-a-plenty set to the take to the field at Barlow Park, this game promises to be a blockbuster on every level.

Led by Head Coach Michael Maguire, the Rabbitohs’ international stars including Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess, Issac Luke, George Burgess, Bryson Goodwin and Thomas Burgess are set to line up against Newcastle’s international players including Darius Boyd, Willie Mason, Jeremy Smith, Akuila Uate and David Fa’alogo, led by Head Coach Wayne Bennett.

Two of the Rabbitohs’ Queenslanders, Chris McQueen and Dave Tyrrell, were on hand at Barlow Park in Cairns today to launch the match, saying they can’t wait to head to Queensland to play in front of a home crowd.

“Last year I had the opportunity to play here in Cairns, in front of some of my family, and it was a real buzz,” Queensland State of Origin representative McQueen said.

“Even though we played against a Queensland-based side last year in the Titans, I’m certain most of the support in the crowd was for us and we really enjoyed playing on the fast pitch here at Barlow Park.

“It was conducive to playing some exciting footy and the finish to last year’s game, with ‘GI’ making a match-winning one-on-one tackle, hasn’t been forgotten either.

“I know I looked at the draw when it came out to see when we were playing in Cairns, and to have the game on at 3pm on Sunday afternoon means we should get to see some electrifying footy being played.”

Tyrrell said: “I enjoy getting back up to Queensland when I can and I know all the boys enjoyed playing up here last year.

“The people of Cairns love their Rugby League and they turned out in big numbers to last year’s game, so hopefully we can get more people in here this year.

“It’s a great initiative for the Rabbitohs to be bringing this game up here each year and hopefully we can get the two competition points against the Knights as we did last year against the Titans.”

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey said the Cairns NRL match was supported by Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a three-year agreement and had become a highlight on the city’s major event calendar.

“Last year’s match generated more than 9,000 visitor nights for the region and contributed around $2 million into the Queensland economy,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Tourism and events are intrinsically linked and the Queensland Government’s Destination Success 20-year plan for tourism recognises the need to nurture and support events in Queensland to maximise the benefits and grow regional tourism destinations.”

The Northern Pride will feature in an Intrust Super Cup match against the Tweed Heads Seagulls in the curtain raiser to the Rabbitohs vs Knights fixture at Barlow Park on Sunday 3 August.

Northern Pride CEO Brock Schaefer said: “The Northern Pride is thrilled to once again partner with the South Sydney Rabbitohs to bring an NRL Premiership Game, the Big Show to Cairns.

“This is one of Rugby League’s true heartlands and in 2014 we will show the rest of Australia how much we love this game by filling Barlow Park to the brim.

“We are encouraging all of our Season Members and supporters to get their tickets as early as they can.

“Let’s put the ‘full house’ sign on Barlow Park.”

Tickets for the South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Newcastle Knights match at Barlow Park at 3pm on Sunday 3 August are available from 10am today by visiting www.ticketscairns.com.au or calling (07) 4053 8333.

Rabbitohs Members who hold a ‘Queensland Membership’ package or a ‘Premium’ Ticketed Membership package also get FREE entry to this game! Become a Rabbitohs ‘Queensland Member’ now by visiting http://membership.rabbitohs.com.au/qld-membership/.