In a Perth-first for international rugby league, Australia will take on trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand at nib Stadium in October this year in the lead up to the 2016 Four Nations tournament in the United Kingdom.

  • First international rugby league test hosted in WA
  • Kangaroos first appearance at nib Stadium in Perth

Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies said securing the end of season fixture showed the faith the National Rugby League had in the future of the sport in Western Australia.

“The NRL knows what a loyal fan base rugby league has in the West and the opportunities will only increase with Perth Stadium coming on line in 2018,” Ms Davies said.

“The Perth Stadium gives rise to the possibility of State of Origin, NRL premiership and other international rugby league matches becoming regular fixtures, presenting enormous opportunities, with a capacity for rugby league matches of 65,000.”

The Kangaroos are reigning World Cup champions and the Kiwis recently won the Four Nations tournament, with the teams sitting in first and second position respectively in the Rugby League International Federation rankings.

Acting Tourism Minister Albert Jacob said as a result, the rivalry between the Australian and New Zealand teams was at an all-time high.

“West Australians have proven they have a strong appetite for rugby league, and the recent $95 million refurbishment of nib Stadium has delivered a venue that provides a world-class sporting experience and enhances Perth’s reputation as a destination of choice for sporting excellence,” Mr Jacob said.

“The previous two NRL premiership fixtures played at nib Stadium between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Warriors saw sell-out crowds with the 2014 match breaking nib Stadium’s attendance record for a sporting event.”

The event is sponsored by the State Government through Tourism WA and VenuesWest.

Events such as international rugby league are an important part of the State Government strategy to increase the value of tourism to $12 billion by 2020.

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