Johnathan Thurston is looking forward to representing Australia in Townsville. Credit: NRL Photos Copyright: NRL Photos
Tickets for the first ever Test between Australia and New Zealand in Townsville go on public sale tomorrow with Johnathan Thurston carrying the hopes of a passionate local crowd and Benji Marshall’s sights set on claiming the one international trophy he has never been part of winning.
With more than 7,500 tickets for the match having already been snapped up Cowboys members, Thurston and Marshall today joined VB Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens and New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney at Dairy Farmers Stadium ahead of the on-sale of tickets to the public for the October 13 Test from 10am tomorrow.
For VB Kangaroos five-eighth Thurston, the clash will be his first against New Zealand in front of his home fans and the Cowboys star is determined to ensure they receive a performance to remember.
“There’s a few of the boys here at the club who will be in the mix for selection, Matt Scott, James Tamou, Brent Tate, plus Jason Taumalolo for the Kiwis. We all want the chance to play and represent our countries in front of our local fans,” Thurston said today.
“The fans here in North Queensland, they are so passionate about Rugby League. They deserve the chance to host a match of this stature and I know the boys will want to give them a game to remember.
“The atmosphere at Newcastle for this match last year was amazing and a full house here will be just as awesome and really show why Townsville deserves to continue hosting big Rugby League events like this in the future.”
New Zealand skipper Marshall today also revealed his motivation to reclaim the Billy Kelly Cup, which the Kiwis last held in 2003.
“We’ve had some great wins in recent years but this is the one trophy that’s eluded us,” said Marshall.
“It’s been a long time since we have held the Bill Kelly Cup and to reclaim it leading into a World Cup year is a great motivation for the boys.”
Queensland Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Jann Stuckey, encouraged Queenslanders to get behind the inaugural Townsville Test.
“It is a great coup for Townsville to be hosting its first ever Rugby League Test between Australia and New Zealand. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the match, delivering an estimated economic boost of $3.5 million,” Ms Stuckey said.
“The Newman Government supports international events like this as part of its determined strategy to increase overnight visitor expenditure to $30 billion by 2020.
“Through Events Queensland, our investment in major events for the Townsville region is at record levels. Joining the Rugby League Test is the recent Sucrogen Townsville 400 and next month’s Under 19 ICC Cricket World Cup.”
Tickets for the Test at Dairy Farmers Stadium at 6.45pm on Saturday, October 13, will go on sale to the general public from 10am tomorrow, Wednesday, July 25, with tickets available from as little as $10.
To celebrate the historic match, a special ‘Roo Crew’ supporter section has been created for the first time, with fans able to purchase Category 1 and 2 adult tickets into the ‘Roo Crew’ area and receive a supporter’s t-shirt and flag.
Tickets are available through Ticketek on 132 849, at Ticketek outlets or online at www.ticketek.com.au