Townsville to host NRL All Stars clash for first time in 2021
- December 9, 2020 1:57pm
- DARCIE MCDONALD
- Source: FOX SPORTS
Townsville will host the NRL All Stars game in 2021 for the very first time.
The NRL announced on Wednesday that the clash between the Indigenous and Maori men and women’s teams will be played at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville on Saturday, February 20.
There’s been nine All Stars games played over the last 11 years with seven of those played in Queensland at either Suncorp Stadium or Cbus Super stadium.
“North Queensland is rugby league heartland and I know this game will mean a lot to the local community,’’ NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said on Wednesday.
“All Stars is an event like no other on our calendar. It brings people together and helps us celebrate First Nations people and rugby league’s incredible diversity.
“All Stars is more than a game, it’s a week of community engagement, education and cultural awareness. It means so much to our playing group and to the Australian Rugby League Commission.
“We’re also excited to be taking our first major event to Townsville’s new stadium. This state-of-the-art venue will provide the region with the opportunity to host some of our best events.”
The Maori mens team celebrate winning the 2019 All Stars clash. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)Source: AAP
Meanwhile, Australian rugby league Indigenous council chair Katrina Fanning is confident that holding the game in Townsville will continue to grow rugby league in the region.
“The All Stars concept has been such an important initiative since 2010,” Fanning said.
“It has changed lives from Gold Coast and Brisbane to Newcastle and Melbourne.
“It makes so much sense to include Townsville – an incredibly important rugby league region but also one with such strong links to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.”
With COVID-19 restrictions easing, the clash is tipped to be a sellout with 25,000 fans all getting a taste of some brilliant and passionate footy.