Teaukura Moetaua / Getty Images
No 10 Highlanders Mitch Hunt brought the ball to the line against the Rebels in Dunedin last year.
The Highlanders hit the road for their third round at home against the Melbourne Rebels in the Trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition, bringing the game to Queenstown on Sunday, May 30.
The match will take place at the Queenstown Events Center and the seating capacity will be “around 10,000 people,” said Jim Boult, Queenstown Lakes District Council. Thing Tuesday.
“The good news is that the Rebels will be arriving before the game and they will be based here for a week because they will face the Chiefs on the weekend after taking on the Highlanders,” said Boult.
“It’s nice to have them here and great to have a top notch, top notch sporting event in the neighborhood.”
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The event will somehow help ease the blow felt in Queenstown when last year’s rugby championship, which was originally scheduled to be held in New Zealand with a quarantine center in Queenstown, moved to Australia.
“It is a factor of well-being for the people who live here, but also a very good economic generator,” said Boult.
“It will attract a lot of people from Otago and Southland, probably people from a little further afield and certainly some from Australia.
“We are very excited about this. It got together quite quickly following a phone call from [Highlanders CEO] Roger Clark about a week and a half ago, asking if we were supporting it.
“It took about half a nanosecond to say yes. From my point of view, for the District, I’m delighted to have him here, but personally, as a staunch supporter of rugby and the Highlanders, I’m very happy and can’t wait to go to the game.
Boult said the cut would also provide Queenstown with an opportunity to sell itself to a wider audience after the tourism industry was hit hard by the effects of Covid-19.
“TV people are going to put a camera on The Remarks [Remarkables] to have a long distance view of the neighborhood and the game and I think that will be amazing, ”he said.
The Highlanders begin their Trans-Tasman Super Rugby campaign with a game against the Reds in Dunedin on May 14 before traveling to face the Force in Perth in the second round.
Injuries have hit the team hard this year, but Lock Pari Pari Parkinson played in club Dunedin rugby last weekend and it is hoped he can play a big part against the Australian opposition.
The Highlanders have a recent poor record against the Rebels, losing to Melbourne squad in Dunedin in 2020 and Melbourne in 2019.
Rebels coach Dave Wessels announced last week that he was stepping down with immediate effect after finishing fourth in the AU Super Rugby competition.
Kevin Foote has been named interim coach of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition, and the Rebels have announced that he will also be assisted by the Wallabies coaching staff of Dave Rennie, Scott Wisemantel and Matt Taylor.