VB Test moved from Christchurch to Gold Coast
New Zealand Rugby League Chief Executive, Mr Jim Doyle, has today confirmed the May 6 Test between New Zealand and Australia will move to the Gold Coast’s Skilled Park as Christchurch works to recover from the devastation of February’s earthquake.
The NZRL and the ARL have made a firm commitment to return the match to Christchurch in 2012 when AMI stadium and the city itself can capitalise on the benefits of hosting the international.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Christchurch and the Canterbury region at this time,” Mr Doyle said.
“The priority for them now is to somehow get their lives back together and the valuable resources they have on call need to be focused on trying to rebuild their city.
“By next year, hopefully, they will be looking for the tourism and the international exposure that this match can deliver and we will be there to do everything we can to deliver that outcome.
“We remain committed to giving the people of Canterbury the chance to see the World Champion Kiwis but, unfortunately, it is in everyone’s interest that we wait for the right time.
“We are conscious that there are a lot of people hurting at the moment in Christchurch, as well as many in Queensland who are still coming to terms with the devastation of recent floods and the Test will certainly include a number of fund-raising efforts.”
To accommodate the venue change, the Warriors’ Round 9 Telstra Premiership match against the Titans, which was to be scheduled at Mt Smart Stadium, has been moved to Skilled Park.
The corresponding match between the two teams in Round 18 will move from Skilled Park to Mt Smart.
“The move has been agreed to by both clubs and reduces the impact of the venue change on the Warriors players,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today.
“There is tremendous sympathy for the people of Christchurch and we accept that the city is simply not in a position to host the match.
“Everyone is committed to making sure though that we are there to support the city with a Test when the time is right.”
The operators of AMI stadium, VBASE, today applauded the decision to commit to a New Zealand v Australia Test in 2012.
“We have been working with the NZRL with respect to the difficulties of hosting the ANZAC Test in early May,” Chief Executive, Mr Brian Pearson, said today.
“We are delighted they have made the decision to commit to Christchurch for next year.”
Ticketing details and travel packages for supporters in New Zealand will be released in coming weeks.