The Melbourne Rebels have today revealed that Albury will play host to a preseason trial against the Brumbies on January 23.
The Thursday evening fixture will mark the first time the Rebels have faced the Brumbies in a Super Rugby trial in the region, and will be the final chance for players to impress before round one of the 2020 Super Rugby season.
Both clubs will be bringing their full squads to Albury, with back to back games planned to allow coaches to cast their eyes over their entire squads.
The occasion will have a festival feel to it, kicking off when the Albury Steamers Rugby Club host both teams and supporters for dinner on the Wednesday evening.
The Albury Steamers will also run a Level 1 Coaching Course for all their coaches, from Albury and the surrounding regions.
The matches have been organised in conjunction with Albury City Council who have liaised with the two Super Rugby teams to bring the game to the region.
Melbourne Rebels GM of Rugby & Pathways Nick Ryan said the Club was excited to be taking their final preseason fixture to Albury.
“We’ve previously taken squads to Albury for trials and always been blown away by how welcoming the Albury public have been,” said Ryan.
“The fact that we can spend a couple of days here and connect with the community makes it a fun experience for the playing squad and reflects our drive to take more games to regional areas.
“Matches like these have the potential to inspire a generation of youngsters in the region to take up the game. It’s terrific that the Rebels and Brumbies can help spread the rugby gospel to areas like this and show the link between regional clubs and the professional arm of rugby in Australia.
With the Rebels opening Super Rugby match kicking off in Japan on February 1, the Albury trial will act as the final chance Head Coach Dave Wessels has to cast his eyes over his chargers.
“The players will be buzzing as they try to impress the coach before the squad for the Sunwolves game is selected,” stated Ryan.
“The players who have played on Greenfield Park will tell you it’s one of the best surfaces they’ve run around on as well. It all promises to be an entertaining of rugby for the people of Albury.”
The President of the Albury Steamers, Mick Raynes is effusive in his support for the trial.
"Holding the Super Rugby Trial in Albury, a week before the season kicks off is a real coup for the sport in the region.
“Not just local rugby fans, but sports fans in general will be able to watch world class athletes in our own backyard.
“The Steamers, in partnership with the Albury City Council, are looking to making a real event around the Trial. We have booked in food vans, kids entertainment, local beer and wine sales, coaching clinics, a half time sprint challenge with more things on the way.
“The club will also be hosting a Sportsmans Lunch with planning well advanced and some exciting speakers already penciled in.
“Brady's Railway Hotel is holding the after-match function with live entertainment and the opportunity to regale each other with stories about how you could have been a contender.
“It will be great way for the people of Albury and surrounds to build into their Australia Day celebrations," concluded Raynes.
Tickets for the match can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/super-rugby-trial-rebels-v-brumbies-in-albury-tickets-79101880855