The St George Illawarra Dragons, in conjunction with the NRL, have today announced a two-year partnership with the New South Wales town of Mudgee that will see the club play four matches in the regional centre.
The partnership means the Red V will take an NRL Telstra Premiership game to Glen Willow Regional Sports Complex – home of the Mudgee Dragons – in both 2018 and 2019.
The date and opponent for the 2018 home game in Mudgee will be confirmed once the NRL Draw is released later this month.
The Dragons – alongside the South Sydney Rabbitohs – will also play the 35th and 36th edition of the annual Charity Shield game in Mudgee in 2018 and 2019. The 2018 Charity Shield will take place on Saturday, February 24.
Mudgee and surrounding areas in the Central West of NSW will play host to a vast number of community and development activities across the two years, with details being finalised.
Mayor of Mid-Western Regional Council Des Kennedy said the partnership is a fantastic opportunity for regional fans to watch the NRL live in action and meet them face-to-face.
"We're extremely excited to partner with the St George Illawarra Dragons and to bring two premiership games and the 2018 and 2019 Charity Shields to the region," Cr Kennedy said.
"It shows the club's faith in our world class facility that, in May this year, hosted the final ever Country vs City Origin before a crowd of more than 8,300.
"The St. George-Illawarra Dragons are a natural fit with Mudgee given that our Group 10 side are the Mudgee Dragons. This two-year partnership and the respective four games will be well supported by our local and wider regional community."
Dragons' Chairman Brian Johnston said the Dragons' partnership with Mudgee will prove important in the long-term prosperity of country rugby league.
"The Dragons have a large and avid supporter base across all regional markets, in particular the Central West region of NSW," Chairman Johnston said.
"The opportunity to form a partnership with the Mid-Western Regional Council to play games in Mudgee ensures the Dragons play a leading role in the continued development of rugby league in the bush, and will enable us to further develop our brand in this important region.
"We enjoy a long standing association with the Mudgee Dragons, and through Mayor Des Kennedy the Council have expressed a strong desire to see the Dragons play in Mudgee particularly given the quality of the Glen Willow facilities," Johnston added.
"I grew up in Dunedoo myself so I understand first-hand what bringing the NRL to Mudgee will mean to the Central West. The Dragons look forward to having great support when we are in town for the Charity Shield in February."
Confirmation that an NRL Premiership home game will be played in Mudgee completes the Dragons' home venue structure for 2018.
It follows the Dragons' recent commitment to play five home games each at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah and WIN Stadium, Wollongong, in addition to the annual ANZAC Day match at Allianz Stadium.
Ticketing details for the Charity Shield and NRL fixture are still to be finalised and will be communicated to all supporters as soon as possible.
All Red V Members will be provided with an exclusive pre-purchase window and receive discounts on match tickets.
A specific Dragons Faithful Mudgee package will also be made available within the Red V Membership program, providing tickets to both the Charity Shield and Mudgee Premiership game in 2018.
Tour and travel packages are being finalised and will be available for Corporate Partners and Red V Members to enjoy all that the Mudgee region has to offer. Click here to register your interest.