Waratahs return to the Hunter in 2020


18/09/2019





The NSW Waratahs will return to McDonald Jones Stadium for the second consecutive year, taking on the Auckland Blues on Saturday 8 February.

The match will kick-off at 7.15pm following a move by SANZAAR to bring Friday and Saturday night starts forward across the competition.

It will be the opening fixture for Michael Hooper’s men on home soil, following an away trip to Christchurch to start their 2020 campaign.

The match in Newcastle is one of several around the state, part of NSW Rugby’s strategy to take the game to new areas during the redevelopment of the Sydney Football Stadium.

New South Wales Rugby Union (NSWRU) General Manager of Rugby, Tim Rapp said the Hunter was an important region for rugby in New South Wales.

“It’s [Newcastle and the Hunter] a huge participation area for our sport,” Rapp said.

“There’s a proud rugby history here in Newcastle and for NSW Rugby to bring another game to the area is a great initiative.

“With the support of Andrew Hore [CEO] and our Board, we took the step of bringing the game to McDonald Jones Stadium last season and the community were fantastic with their support – it was an easy decision to come back in 2020.

“The facilities for both players and fans are some of the best in the country, and bringing an opponent like the Blues here is an exciting prospect.”

The current squad features a couple of players with Newcastle connections with Andrew Tuala and Harry Johnson-Holmes both playing for the Wanderers out of No.2 Sportsground.

They’ll be looking to show their teammates around ‘Newy’ on their visit to the area ahead of the Round 2 clash, with the squad set to engage with the community in the lead up to their clash with the Blues.

City of Newcastle Councillor Peta Winney-Baartz said the return of the NSW Waratahs to Newcastle was indication of the City’s ability to attract and retain high-quality sporting fixtures.

“This is further indication of the confidence that major sporting codes and clubs are showing in Newcastle as a location of choice to stage domestic and international fixtures,” Cr Winney-Baartz said.

"Our ability to continually attract and retain some of the country's best live sporting and entertainment events shows just how committed we are to making our city the best it can possibly be.

"We look forward to working with Venues NSW and McDonald Jones Stadium to make this match one of the standout features of the City’s 2020 sporting calendar.”

The NSW Waratahs match in Newcastle has been made possible thanks to the support of Venues NSW and Newcastle City Council.


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