NRL set to return to the bush

The NSW Government has confirmed its commitment to supporting NRL in the bush, with a first grade game destined for Tamworth later this month.

Chairman of the NSW Government’s NRL Regional Taskforce Dugald Saunders said footy and regional NSW are a natural fit, and it’s great to see professional rugby league return to a regional area.

“The NSW Government established the Regional Taskforce as a way of ensuring our regions get the exposure to first grade NRL they deserve, and today we’re partnering with the NRL to see the Knights and Warriors battle it out in Tamworth on August 29,” Mr Saunders said.

“I first met with Australian Rugby League chairman Peter V’landys last year about the prospect of getting more games to regional areas, and I’m delighted to see that coming to fruition.

“The Warriors and the Knights are guaranteed to put on a great show at Tamworth, but the real winner is footy in the bush.

“This game will pave the way for 2021, when I’ll oversee the NRL bringing a game to my electorate of Dubbo, as a way to showcase our fantastic region and boost community morale after a tough couple of years.

“This year has been particularly tough for a number of our regional communities on the back of drought, bushfires and COVID-19, but we love our footy and as chair of the taskforce it’s fantastic to be working directly with the Deputy Premier and the NRL to support rugby league in the regions.”

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said given the difficulty experienced across regional areas, a first grade NRL game is a great way to support communities and promote tourism.

“I have said in the past that rugby league is the fabric of life in the bush, so to see the highest level of the game return to its grassroots base is truly exciting,” he said. “Over the last few months many of our regional communities have seen a glimmer of hope that the drought will break, and this is one more thing to look forward to for those living in the country.”

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