14 March 2013
14 March 2013
The University of the Sunshine Coast will co-host Australia’s national rugby union team, the Qantas Wallabies, as the players prepare for the upcoming British and Irish Lions Test Series in June.
Australian Rugby Union, Sunshine Coast Rugby Union, Sunshine Coast Council and USC today announced the Wallabies would use the Sunshine Coast as their training base, including five days at Kawana's Stockland Stadium between 9-15 June.
The team will then relocate to Brisbane to prepare for the first Test of the series at Suncorp Stadium on 23 June.
USC Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engagement Professor Mike Hefferan said the University would be pleased to welcome the Wallabies.
“This gives us a great opportunity to showcase our sporting facilities, which are among the best of their type in Queensland and well suited to the gymnasium and pool work the team will require,” he said.
“We’re confident our students, as well as those from neighbouring schools, will enjoy the opportunity to see the Wallabies training at USC.”
It will be the first time since 1999 that ‘Camp Wallaby’ has been held on the Sunshine Coast in the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup.
The camp will be the second of two the Wallabies will be conducting to prepare for a Test series that occurs once every 12 years when the Lions visit Australia.
When the British and Irish Lions last toured Australia, in 2001, they were beaten by the Wallabies in the three test series.
Qantas Wallabies coaching co-ordinator Tony McGahan said the Coast would be a perfect venue for training.
“In terms of facilities, the ability to get down to it with minimal outside distraction, and of course the climate, the Sunshine Coast ticks all of those boxes,” he said.
“It will be a first for all of the current players – preparing as a Wallaby group on the Sunshine Coast. That provides a point of difference. It also allows us, as a team, to visit a different community and meet a new set of fans.”
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson was very supportive of the national side calling the Coast home in the lead-up to the rare series.
Sunshine Coast Rugby Union Chairman Glenn Ferguson said it would be an exciting time for the region’s rugby fans.
— Terry Walsh