City of Greater Geraldton pledges more funds towards Western Force & Queensland Reds match slated for February

Headshot of Reuben Carder
Reuben CarderMidwest Times
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 17: Feleti Kaitu’u of the Western Force runs in for a try during a Super RugbyAU match against the NSW Waratahs at HBF Park, on April 17, 2021, in PerthPicture: Paul Kane
Camera IconPERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 17: Feleti Kaitu’u of the Western Force runs in for a try during a Super RugbyAU match against the NSW Waratahs at HBF Park, on April 17, 2021, in PerthPicture: Paul Kane Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

The Mid West has taken a big step towards hosting an international-level rugby union match between Queensland and WA next year, with the City of Greater Gerald-ton committing funds to the project.

Councillors voted last Tuesday to provide funding to help schedule a local pre-season match between the Western Force and Queens-land Reds Super Rugby Pacific sides.

The City will allocate $7000 of in-kind funds — consisting of things such as preparing the field for the game — and $5000 from the Mayor’s Discretionary Fund to the plan by the Geraldton Junior Rugby Association to hold the match in February.

Deputy Mayor Jerry Clune said international-level sports events would always be welcome and the plan was a chance for rugby to grow locally.

“Rugby’s not huge in town, but it’s going to give it great exposure and if we can attract those international players to come and play here it’s going to be fantastic, provided we don’t hit COVID-19 restrictions,” Cr Clune said.

“International-level sports in Geraldton is going to be a good thing.”

The association has also secured $5000 through a community grant.

The City said the planned match would be part of a rugby union festival.

“By supporting (the festival), the City would be facilitating the attraction of a national-level rugby union match, an opportunity for the players to mingle with students from local schools, and providing another sporting option for locals to participate in,” a spokesperson said.

The Western Force have provided field requirements and preliminary testing will be done at the Rec ground to check what would need to be done in order to hold the match there.

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