NRL heavyweights tour Albury's rugby facilities

19 September 2013

Two of rugby league’s key leaders have met with Council representatives and the Albury Thunder RLFC to discuss ways the sport’s regional growth can be supported in the long term.

National Rugby League Chief Executive Dave Smith and NRL Legend and ARL Commissioner Wayne Pearce met with AlburyCity to discuss the growth and development of League in Albury.

Top of the agenda was a proposed joint partnership to develop a long term strategy supporting League’s rapid growth in Albury, as well as potential funding partnerships to further develop Greenfield Park into the region’s premier, purpose built rugby league venue.

Council also made its case for hosting future NRL premiership season matches and other signature League events at the Lavington Sports Ground and a re-vamped Greenfield Park.

AlburyCity Director of Community and Recreation James Jenkins said the meeting was a fantastic first step in establishing a key partnership with League’s governing bodies.

“AlburyCity is looking to manage the growth of rugby league in the region, which has increased dramatically in recent years,” he said. “In the past we’ve hosted the NSW Origin Country vs City and the Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders Trial Match and interest in rugby league is at unprecedented levels. Meanwhile the success of the Albury Thunder Rugby League Club means more people are becoming attracted to the sport both as participants and fans and it’s great to see.”

“With that in mind we’re looking at ways we can partner with the NRL and CRL to help develop the sport and cater for the increased demand in League facilities across Albury. This area is a huge growth corridor for rugby league and it’s a significant opportunity for the community, Council and the local League fraternity.”

“But we’re also keen to let the ARL know that Albury has the ability to host NRL matches. We’ve hosted significant league events in the past and we’re ready to take the next step when it comes to hosting major League fixtures. We hope that this meeting paves the way for a significant NRL presence in the region.”