The South Sydney Rabbitohs have announced that the Club will take three home games to regional centres in season 2021 including Apex Oval in Dubbo, Sunshine Coast Stadium in Queensland and Central Coast Stadium in Gosford.
The Rabbitohs will play nine home games each season at ANZ Stadium (pending a 12 home game, 12 away game season), a venue which the Rabbitohs have called home since 2006.
As in previous years and in addition to the nine games at ANZ Stadium each year, the Rabbitohs will take three home matches to regional areas to help spread the Rabbitohs spirit and take games to some of the heartland areas of Rugby League.
In addition to the annual Charity Shield match against the Dragons which is being played in Mudgee in 2021, as well as taking into consideration potential COVID-19 restrictions, the Rabbitohs plan on playing home games at Sunshine Coast Stadium in south-east Queensland and Central Coast Stadium in Gosford over the next two years.
The Club is excited to announce that the Rabbitohs will travel to Apex Oval in Dubbo for home games, one in each of the 2021 and 2022 seasons, which will see the Rabbitohs further strengthen its ties to central west New South Wales.
Rabbitohs CEO, Blake Solly, says Club is very keen to take games to the NSW Central West hub of Dubbo as well as return to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and the Central Coast of New South Wales.
“We’re excited to be reconnecting with our vast numbers of Members and fans on the Sunshine Coast and Central Coast in 2021, and we can’t wait to bring the team to Dubbo for the first of what we hope will be many games at Apex Oval,” Mr Solly said.
“Apex Oval has seen many of the games greats perform on its turf including Rabbitohs like Les Davidson, Terry Fahey, David Peachey and Joe Williams to name just a few. It’s hosted Test matches and has been the home of Rugby League in Dubbo for decades.
“We’re delighted to be working with the Member for Dubbo, Dugald Saunders MP, and the State government; as well as the Mayor of Dubbo, Cr Ben Shields, and the team at Dubbo Regional Council; on bringing a game to Dubbo and we’re sure it will be a great trip for our Members and supporters to jump on www.wotif.com/rabbitohs and book themselves a mid-year break in the central west of New South Wales, as well as other trips to the beautiful Sunshine Coast and my home region of the Central Coast.
“It’s also important for the sport to support those that support us, and the people in regional areas have shown they love their Rugby League, hence why we’re happy to do our part to take some of our games to these regional centres. All NRL clubs have an obligation to ensure that Rugby League outside of Sydney is strong.”
“We’re looking forward to finishing off season 2020 in style and then focusing on delivering some fantastic match day experiences at ANZ Stadium, Apex Oval, Sunshine Coast Stadium and Central Coast Stadium in 2021 and beyond.”
Member for the Dubbo electorate and chairman of the NSW Government’s Regional NRL taskforce, Dugald Saunders MP, has liaised with the Club, the NRL and Dubbo Regional Council to ensure top flight football returns to the city for the first time since the 2014 Country-City match.
“Dubbo deserves NRL games, and I thank the NRL, South Sydney and Dubbo Regional Council for working with the taskforce to make this happen,” Mr Saunders said.
“When I was made chairman of the taskforce I made a pledge that Dubbo would have an NRL game in 2021, and the great news is we’ve been able to lock the Bunnies in for two years.
“The Rabbitohs are also looking to create meaningful ties in the city through the ‘Souths Cares’ program, and I look forward to helping in those endeavours.
“This is the first domino to fall as part of the taskforce’s push to take more games to regional NSW, and I look forward to making further announcements in that regard.”
Mayor of the Dubbo Region, Councillor Ben Shields, said: “I am very excited that the Rabbitohs have elected to bring a match to Dubbo in 2021 and 2022.
“There is a very passionate following for the Red and Green in Western NSW and the team and its Sydney fans will be welcomed with open arms.
“We look forward to hosting everyone in mid-2021 for the first of what will hopefully be many games.”
Sunshine Coast Council Economy Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said: “We are very pleased to welcome the Rabbitohs back to the Sunshine Coast after their fantastic and entertaining win at the first ever NRL regular season game hosted in our region back in 2019.
We have a legion of footy fans on the Coast who would love to come along and support the Rabbitohs at these games.Jason O'Pray Sunshine Coast Council Economy Portfolio Councillor
“This historic match was the first part of a highly successful three year arrangement with SSFC, SSC and TEQ, demonstrating our region’s ability to host the highest levels of Australian professional sport.
“Unfortunately COVID caused the relocation of the planned 2020 SSFC fixture scheduled for the Sunshine Coast Stadium, so we can’t wait to welcome back visitors and locals to another fabulous NRL event on the Sunshine Coast next year.”
Mayor Lisa Matthews said the Central Coast Stadium was thrilled to be partnering with the Rabbitohs to bring elite Rugby League games to the Coast.
“We have a legion of footy fans on the Coast who would love to come along and support the Rabbitohs at these games.
“The stadium is the best venue to watch quality sport and I for one can’t wait to see the Rabbitohs in action.”
Rabbitohs Memberships are on sale now. 2020 Members will receive Membership renewal information via email. Those planning on becoming new Members in 2021 should keep an eye on www.rabbitohs.com.au and the official Rabbitohs social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more information.
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