The National Rugby League will be back at Dubbo in 2022, as Grand Finalists South Sydney hosts its round 11 clash with the Canberra Raiders at Apex Oval on May 22.
Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders, who is chair of the NRL regional taskforce, said the corresponding fixture this year was a great success, and saw the two teams who played in Dubbo meet in the Grand Final.
“It really was an amazing co-incidence, and I think everyone who watched Souths host Penrith in May felt some sort of involvement in this year’s decider, because of the match here in Dubbo,” Mr Saunders said.
“The main goal I have as chair of the regional taskforce is to continue to attract top level games to regional areas, and I’m sure there’s going to be even more excitement about NRL games next year, as we re-build after COVID.
“We had a fantastic crowd of around 10,000 this year, and there are loads of ‘Bunnies’ fans across the region, with loads more across the state who I know will be keen to travel to Dubbo again. I’m hoping we’ll be looking at a capacity of somewhere around 15,000 to create an even better atmosphere in 2022.”
South Sydney CEO Blake Solly said his club is excited to re-ignite its ties with the region.
“We had a great experience at Dubbo this year, and although the result on the day went against us, we are really delighted to be bringing the team and Souths Cares back to Dubbo next season; building on what we’ve already established,” he said.
“The ground itself is fantastic, the support for Souths Cares’ work in the community was remarkable, and we’re hoping even more Members and fans will come along next year, as we continue to support top level rugby league in regional areas like Dubbo.”
Dubbo Regional Council CEO Murray Wood said the region has another great opportunity to shine.
“The Rabbitohs have such an amazing following, and we’ll be hoping to attract as many of the red and green army as possible to Apex Oval, along with fans of the Raiders who I’m sure will travel,” he said.
“We showed once again this year what a great ground Apex Oval is, and we’re keen to bring even more visitors to the game itself next year, along with all of our other tourist attractions.”