Paul Antonio
Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio

August 16, 2021

While COVID-19 has been forcing event cancellations across the region, the pandemic has also provided an opportunity for rugby league fans … Toowoomba will be hosting a major NRL game this weekend.

Fourth-placed Sydney Roosters will take on the St George Illawarra Dragons at Clive Berghofer Stadium at 2:00pm on Sunday.

Mayor Paul Antonio welcomed the NRL’s decision to bring the match to regional Queensland.

“Toowoomba is a heartland for rugby league and it’s fitting to see a match of this calibre in our region,” he said.

“This is one of the game’s greatest rivalries and as such, it’s exciting to think it could be played in front of 9000 people at Clive Berghofer Stadium.

“I’d like to thank the NRL and all the stakeholders involved who have worked hard to bring this game to our region. I have no doubt this will have both a positive impact on our region’s economy, as well as boost the spirits of our residents.

“I fully understand there may be some people who are concerned about any potential health risks however the NRL is working hand-in-hand with Queensland Health and has assured us strict protocols will be in place to ensure the safety of our residents.”

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said the pandemic was creating many challenges, but it was also creating opportunities.

“We’re really excited to be taking a game to Toowoomba,’’ he said.

The match will also be broadcast on national television, which Mayor Antonio said provided “an amazing chance” to showcase the region.

“Events of this nature don’t just show how amazing our region is, but they also encapsulate what we’re capable of as we move forward,” he said.

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