Canberra emerges as potential venue for Anzac rugby league.


Australia outclass Kiwis to win Four Nations
Canberra is on the verge of securing rights to host the last Anzac rugby league Test before it is scrapped from the NRL schedule, with the ACT government locked in negotiations to bring the game to the capital.

Fairfax Media can reveal the NRL is keen to link with the capital for the Australian Kangaroos clash against New Zealand to be played in April next year.

It comes a week after the Kangaroos beat New Zealand in the Four Nations final in Europe – a match in which Canberra Raiders winger Jordan Rapana fractured his cheekbone – and would add another marquee event to Canberra's 2017 sporting calendar.

Canberra Stadium already has a jam-packed schedule with an A-League match in February, the ACT Brumbies' Super Rugby season, the Raiders' NRL campaign and three rugby league World Cup games involving Australia, France, Lebanon, Fiji and Italy between October 29 and November 10.

The government is also still working with the Australian Rugby Union to finalise details on a deal for the Wallabies to play a Test against Argentina on September 11.

The international sport flavour will continue when the Australian men's and women's hockey teams play in a trans-Tasman series against New Zealand.

A government spokesperson confirmed they had been working with the NRL in the hope of being able to reach an agreement for the Test.

The Anzac fixture is set to be axed from the rugby league calender when the NRL begins its next broadcast deal from 2018.
A sell-out crowd of 25,628 packed into Canberra Stadium to watch the Kangaroos beat the Kiwis 32-12 in 2013, which was scheduled as part of Canberra's centenary celebrations.

Several Canberra Raiders will be in contention for Kangaroos selection next year, with Shannon Boyd tasting success in the Four Nations final in England on Monday morning .

Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker, Joey Leilua and Junior Paulo are all pressing their claims for Australian duties, while Rapana, Joe Tapine and Sia Soliola are on New Zealand's radar.

Rapana made his debut for New Zealand this year and is stuck in England for the next 10 days after being told he was not allowed to fly home with his teammates because of the risk of further injury to his fractured cheekbone.

Rapana won't need surgery to repair the fracture and is expected to join the Raiders for pre-season training when he returns to Canberra in January.

His injury is similar to the one sustained by teammate Soliola two years ago, when he had to drive from Townsville to Canberra after copping a whack to the face .

Air expands while flying at altitude, and air within a cheekbone fracture can expand and cause further damage.
Canberra coach Ricky Stuart said the news wasn't all bad for Rapana.

"He had to have a two-week lay-off before flying so his girlfriend has flown over to catch up with him to have a couple of weeks over in England and then they will fly home," Stuart said.

The bulk of the Raiders squad started pre-season training on Monday.

Former State of Origin forward Dave Taylor is training with the club in a bid to impress Stuart and win a contract to make an NRL comeback.

But the Raiders are working with the NRL integrity unit after Taylor was fined $1000 on Wednesday after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.

Post a Comment