The St George Illawarra Dragons, Sydney Roosters and the SCG Trust have reached a three-way agreement to play the traditional Anzac Day fixture at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for the next three seasons.
Following the recent announcement regarding the New South Wales Government’s redevelopment of Allianz Stadium at the end of the 2018 NRL season, an agreement to play the Anzac Day fixture at the SCG made perfect sense.
The Anzac Day traditional fixture will return to Allianz Stadium for the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership season upon the completion of a new world-class facility.
St George Illawarra Dragons Chairman Brian Johnston was pleased the biggest regular season game on the NRL's calendar would remain in the SCG precinct.
"The traditional Anzac Day match between the Dragons and Roosters has been in place since 2002 and is one of the biggest games on the NRL calendar each season," Johnston said.
"The Dragons have worked in partnership with the Roosters and SCG Trust to ensure this feature match continues to be played in the SCG sporting precinct over the next three years.
"We also look forward to the Anzac Day match returning to be played in a new world class stadium from 2022 onwards once Allianz Stadium is redeveloped.
"Continued proximity to the Sydney CBD and the traditional Anzac Day March was a particular consideration to cater for both acting servicemen and supporters alike."
Sydney Roosters Chairman Nick Politis AM recognised the history both clubs share with the SCG and was pleased to partner with the Dragons and SCG Trust to ensure the traditional Anzac Day fixture remains within the Moore Park precinct in the coming years.
"This is the 17th year that the Roosters and Dragons have featured in the traditional Anzac Day fixture," Politis said.
"While we look forward to the Anzac Day match returning to a new world-class Allianz Stadium from 2022 onwards, it’s wonderful that in the interim, the traditional Anzac Day match will be played at the spiritual home of rugby league.
"The Sydney Cricket Ground has been home to some of the most iconic moments in the history of not only the Roosters and Dragons, but also the game of rugby league.
"We are delighted to enter this partnership with the Dragons and SCG Trust to ensure that this traditional Anzac Day fixture remains in the SCG precinct for the next three years."
SCG Trust Chairman Tony Shepherd AO congratulated the Roosters and Dragons on returning Anzac Day rugby league to the SCG while a new Allianz Stadium is under construction.
"Easts and the Dragons played their first Anzac Day match at the SCG in 1959 and we are delighted that next season, the two clubs and their many thousands of fans will once again pay tribute to our servicemen and women at the SCG – a place that began its life as a military sporting ground," Shepherd said.
"In 2002, the Roosters, Dragons and Trust established the Anzac Day Cup – breathing new life into a wonderful sporting tradition. It is now, without question, the largest and most significant match outside of the finals series.
"Returning to the SCG for three seasons will give the clubs, players and fans the chance to reflect on the enormous history of the game in the SCG precinct – from the Dragons’ 11-straight premierships to those wonderful Easts teams of 1974 and ’75 that convinced a pioneer Nick Politis to become rugby league's first sponsor."
This year's clash, the final to be played at Allianz Stadium in its current format, is shaping as one of the games of the season to open Round 8 of the Telstra Premiership.
With plenty of great seats still available, both sets of supporters are encouraged to pre-purchase their tickets.