100 days to Wollongong Super League clash
We're 100 days away from the historic Wigan Warriors v Hull FC Super League match at WIN Stadium, Wollongong.
Wigan skipper Sean O'Loughlin and Hull FC prop Scott Taylor took time out from their 2017 Rugby League World Cup commitments for England were given a sneak peak of WIN Stadium earlier this week by Dragons legends Shaun Timmins and Mathew Head – the latter of which played for Hull FC.
The first Super League competition game to be held outside Europe is scheduled for February 10, 2018 in Wollongong.
Wigan will be based in Wollongong for the week leading in to the match and Hull FC in Kiama, the stage is set for a local showdown. The English players were joined by Wollongong Lord Mayor Cr Gordon Bradbery OAM and Kiama Mayor Mark Honey at WIN Stadium.
Destination Wollongong General Manager Mark Sleigh said excitement about the game was building steadily and being able to showcase the stadium to both sides would only increase anticipation.
"WIN Stadium is an iconic stadium, well known for its incredible location by the beach," Sleigh said.
"When they are here in February the teams will be highly visible and engaged with the community and we want to show them that we are behind them every step of the way."
Wigan Warriors captain O'Loughlin welcomed the opportunity to visit Wollongong, saying the opportunity to be a part of a sanctioned Super League match in the region was exciting.
"I've heard a lot of great things about WIN Stadium and Wollongong from the guys who had already visited," O'Loughlin said.
"To play a game right next to the beach isn't something we're used to back home in the UK so that will be different. Our fans will also get to sit on a grass bank and watch a Super League game in the sunshine so that will be great as well.
"The tour in February looks fantastic and is shaping up to be a really special couple of weeks for both fans and players."
Wollongong Lord Mayor Bradbery said the match is already proving a winner on multiple fronts including both community engagement and economic opportunities.
"Our relationship with Wigan Warriors extends far beyond the scope of the game itself and is growing into a long-term mutually beneficial partnership between two emerging international cities," Bradbery said.
"Local businesses are already making connections overseas and companies are determining opportunities that have arisen post-Brexit and England's exit from the EU. This match has the potential to not only bring other large-scale sporting events to the region but to build relationships that will have positive impacts for many years to come."
Players from Wigan and Hull FC will also join with players from the St George Illawarra Dragons in the community leading up to the match as part of an ongoing relationship to celebrate rugby league in the region.
Tickets for the Wigan Warriors and Hull FC Super League clash are already available through WIN Stadium and Ticketmaster.