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Cairns to Host Reds First 2015 Super Rugby Pre-season Trial


The St.George Queensland Reds will intensify their preparations for the 2015 Super Rugby season when they host the Melbourne Rebels in their opening trial game of the year in Cairns on Saturday 31 January.

The match, to be played at Barlow Park, is the first major Rugby Union fixture in Cairns since the Reds played the Brumbies in a pre-season trial ahead of the 2012 Super Rugby season.

The trial match is reward for the growth of Rugby in the Far North Queensland region, which has helped Queensland become the largest state for Rugby participation, with 260,000 Queenslanders participating in the game last year.

Reds head coach Richard Graham said the squad was looking forward to taking their 2015 season preparations to North Queensland.

“Cairns is a great location to host a pre-season trial. Rugby in the region has seen significant growth and this Australian derby will be great reward for the local Rugby community,” Graham said.

“It is important for us to reach out and engage with our regional centres and this trial game presents the perfect opportunity to get the Far North Queensland Rugby fans engaged and excited for the 2015 Rugby season. We are conscious that the Reds represent all of Queensland

“After 9 weeks of pre-season training, the players will be keen to experience match conditions. There are only two trials leading into the season so there will be an enormous amount of competition for places. It will also be the first opportunity for our new recruits Karmichael (Hunt), James (O’Connor), Adam (Thomson), Hendrik (Tui) and Duncan (Paia’aua) to pull on the Reds jersey. It will be special for our North Queensland fans to experience this game first hand.”

Queensland Rugby CEO Jim Carmichael stressed how important it was to take a trial game to regional Queensland as part of QRU’s strategy.

“Queensland Rugby oversees the game from the elite level through to the grassroots of our code. It is important for us to engage with the entire Queensland Rugby community. Taking a trial game to Far North Queensland is part of our overarching strategy to grow the game and ensure that the Reds connect with all our fans across Queensland,” Carmichael said.

FNQ Rugby President, Robert Brennan, said: “The Far North Queensland region experienced significant growth in participation following the Reds’ 2012 trial game. With the exciting new squad the Reds have in place for 2015, I’m looking forward to seeing how Rugby in the region will benefit following the Reds visit to the Cairns next year.”

Ticketing information will be announced in due course. Details of the Reds’ second pre-season trial match will also be announced in the coming weeks.

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