On this day in 2000, a South Sydney team plays a fundraising match against the USA Tomahawks on a cold Saturday night at Redfern Oval. The fixture is delayed by 30 minutes so a 20,000 strong crowd can make their way into the packed venue.
With the South Sydney Rabbitohs excluded from the competition for the 2000 season, the match against the US national side provided fans with the opportunity to watch football at their side’s traditional home.
The encounter demonstrated the loyalty of the Red and Green faithful, showing their passion for their side and their outrage over the decision to remove the foundation Club from the regular competition.
"These are the days the Club will never forget. It was a wonderful, important night for Souths Members and really demonstrated the power and passion behind the Rabbitohs. That's what makes the Rabbitohs such a successful and proud Club," explains Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly.
"Today also showcases the innovation that really defines South Sydney. From that game we've taken the game to Jacksonville, to Perth, expanded the World Club Challenge into a series and we'll honour that tradtion of forward thinking by bringing Wigan and Hull to ANZ Stadium in February for a double header."
Despite not taking part in the competition in seasons 2000 and 2001, the Rabbitohs would eventually be readmitted in 2002 upon appeal to the Federal Court. This would start the Club’s restoration and rise to the top of the league.