The Cronulla Sharks will tackle the North Queensland Cowboys under the new lights at Sunshine Coast Stadium in Round 10 of the NRL season. Photo: Gregg Porteous
The Cronulla Sharks will tackle the North Queensland Cowboys under the new lights at Sunshine Coast Stadium in Round 10 of the NRL season. Photo: Gregg Porteous

Giddy-up! Cowboys locked in for NRL blockbuster

FOUR NRL heavyweights will do battle on the Sunshine Coast next year after the NRL today released its 2020 premiership season draw.

The Cronulla Sharks will tackle the North Queensland Cowboys under the new lights at Sunshine Coast Stadium in Round 10 of the NRL season on Saturday, May 16 at 5.30pm.

This will be followed up with the South Sydney Rabbitohs playing the New Zealand Warriors in Round 22 on Saturday August 15 at 3pm.

The Sunshine Coast will host two NRL premiership fixtures in 2020 and 2021 under commercial partnerships with the Cronulla and South Sydney clubs. Under the agreement, both clubs will play one of their allocated home games at Sunshine Coast Stadium for the next two years.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Sunshine Coast would be the only regional destination in Australia to host two NRL clubs in the one season next year when the Rabbitohs return to Sunshine Coast Stadium and the Sharks play here for the first time.

"The partnerships that council has struck with the Sharks and Rabbitohs to bring home games to the Sunshine Coast next year and the year after is another huge vote of confidence in our region as a destination of choice for major sporting teams and events," Cr Jamieson said.

"Our inaugural NRL match in April this year was an overwhelming success, with a sellout crowd and very positive reviews from the NRL, the Rabbitohs and the New Zealand Warriors.

"Today's exciting news also comes on the back of Sunday's fantastic announcement that Sunshine Coast Stadium will host the 2020 Holden Women's State of Origin match on June 19.

"I'm sure that footy fans here on the Sunshine Coast as well as other parts of Queensland and New Zealand, along with a number of Sharks and Rabbitohs fans in Sydney, will be circling May 16, June 19 and August 15 on their 2020 calendars and looking forward to heading to the Sunshine Coast to catch some great NRL action in our great region."

Ticketing information for both matches will be available soon.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs playing the New Zealand Warriors in Round 22 on Saturday August 15 at the Sunshine Coast Stadium. Photo: Barry John Alsop
The South Sydney Rabbitohs playing the New Zealand Warriors in Round 22 on Saturday August 15 at the Sunshine Coast Stadium. Photo: Barry John Alsop

Sharks CEO Richard Munro said the club was excited to head north in round 10 for its first "home away from home" game on the Sunshine Coast.

"The draw has been kind to us with the Sharks to match up against a quality Queensland opponent in the Cowboys," Mr Munro said.

"The month of May and round 10 is a great time of the year to be playing on the Sunshine Coast, for both the team and for the fans who can combine a holiday with a blockbuster game of rugby league.

"I'm confident our members and fans will travel up and be a part of it and hope the locals also embrace what should be a fantastic event."

Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly is looking forward to the Club's second match at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

"Last year's match against the Warriors was an unmitigated success and we're looking forward to bringing our players north to Sunshine Coast Stadium to take on New Zealand's best again this season," Mr Solly said.

"Last year's game was a sell out and the atmosphere created at the Stadium was fantastic.

"Hopefully we can put on an even bigger and better event in 2020, as well as getting the two competition points on the field again.

'We would like to thank the people of the Sunshine Coast, as well as Sunshine Coast Council and Tourism and Events Queensland for backing this game and we look forward to seeing everyone again in August 2020."

Tourism, Sports and Events Portfolio Councillor Jason O'Pray said the Sharks and Rabbitohs partnerships and hosting the 2020 Holden Women's State of Origin match added to the Sunshine Coast's reputation as a leading destination for elite sports teams and sporting events.

"Our work over the last few years where council has supported a wide range of sporting activity and events has built our reputation to the point where we are now getting more opportunities on the national and international stage," Cr O'Pray said.

"We made our inaugural NRL fixture in April this year one to remember and it's awesome that we'll have even more big opportunities next year and in 2021 to showcase our region to a national audience and our own passionate sports-loving community.

"We anticipate that both of next year's NRL games and the Holden Women's State of Origin match will be significant drawcards for supporters from Queensland and interstate, leading to a significant boost for the local economy.

"We're also really looking forward to having more promotional opportunities available to us by having two high-profile clubs like the Cronulla Sharks and South Sydney connected to the Sunshine Coast for the next two years."

The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support the 2020 Holden Women's State of Origin match and the NRL clash between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and New Zealand Warriors, which features on the It's Live! in Queensland events calendar.