New international teams and a new day-night format to bring the party for year two.
The Brisbane Global Rugby Tens will again launch the rugby season in the Southern Hemisphere in 2018, with 14 top class professional teams descending upon Queensland for the spectacular two-day tournament over Friday 9 and Saturday 10 February.
To accompany the switch to a Friday-Saturday window, the 2018 tournament will be a day-night event, beginning in the afternoon and running into the evening.
Star-studded French club Pau – the home of All Blacks Conrad Smith, Colin Slade and Tom Taylor – and Olympic sevens gold medallists Fiji will contest the 2018 tournament alongside the ten Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby clubs. The field will be rounded out by two of the standout teams from 2017, Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights and Samoa.
“Rugby fans across the world got to see just what a great game tens rugby is when played by elite professional players at the first ever Brisbane Global Rugby Tens earlier this year,” tournament chief executive Rachael Carroll said.
“The level of excitement around the event has only grown since then and we’ll be bringing the party back to Brisbane again in February. With the incredible line-up of teams and the switch to day-night format – which fans have told us is what they want – the 2018 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens will be a truly spectacular affair.
The 2017 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens attracted over 50,000 spectators over two days and was watched by broadcast audience of 1.1 million people.
The launch of the 2018 edition of the tournament in Brisbane today [Wednesday] was attended by a host of stars including All Blacks and Hurricanes wing Julian Savea, Wallabies stars Kurtley Beale and Henry Speight, Queensland Reds cross code star Karmichael Hunt, Chiefs utility Tim Nanai-Williams and Blues fullback Michael Collins.
Liam Messam, captain of the reigning champion Chiefs, said the action and intensity would go up another level in 2018.
“Heading into this year no one really knew what to expect as it was very much a new concept,” Messam said. “We learned very quickly that the tens format works brilliantly – it was fast but also very physically demanding. There were some huge hits out there and the atmosphere coming from the stands was incredible.
“I’m already looking forward to coming back in February and having a shot at defending our title. We know it won’t be easy.”
Queensland Reds star Hunt, who played in the inaugural tournament and will return in 2018, said: “The Brisbane Global Rugby Tens exceeded everyone’s expectations in year one. I enjoyed the Tens format and we saw a lot of good rugby in pre-season over those two days in February.
“The New Zealand teams were impressive last year so we’ll have to be on our game to be in the hunt for silverware in our home town in year two.”
Queensland Rugby Union CEO Richard Barker said: “The success of the first year of the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens has provided an excellent platform for 2018. The eyes of the Rugby world will again be on Brisbane for a week at the start of February as many of the best players in the Southern Hemisphere and from around the world gather for this two-day festival at Suncorp Stadium. It’s a great way to let the Queensland public know that rugby’s back.”
Acting Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Grace Grace, said Queensland was home to world-class sporting events in Australia’s best destinations.
“The inaugural Brisbane Global Rugby Tens tournament held earlier this year delivered more than 28,000 visitor nights for Brisbane with fans from Australia and overseas turning up to witness the on-field action,” Ms Grace said.
“We look forward to welcoming fans to Suncorp Stadium next February and encourage visitors travelling to the match to stay on and explore the wide range of memorable visitor experiences on offer in Brisbane and the surrounding regions.
“The Brisbane Global Rugby Tens is among a blockbuster line-up of events being staged in Brisbane as part of the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar, worth more than $600 million to the Queensland economy.”
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said he was thrilled to see the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens return in February 2018 to Suncorp Stadium.
“Brisbane is ready to once again stage this mammoth event and lay out the welcome mat for interstate and international rugby fans,” Cr Quirk said.
“Earlier this year, Rugby Tens attracted bumper crowds to its high-stakes competition and array of elite international sporting stars.
“Major events are a significant drawcard for holiday visitors, who now number half of the city’s total visitors.
“The inaugural tournament coincided with a spike in New Zealand tourism, increasing visitation from our neighbours across the Tasman by more than five per cent. These visitors also attend other events, fill hotel rooms, boost retail and hospitality industries, and contribute heavily to the more than $100 million that major events inject into Brisbane’s economy.
“The city is building a strong reputation for our sporting and cultural events and we’re committed to attracting and growing these in line with the recommendations from the Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan.”
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