Bundaberg to host NRL grand final rematch
FRASER Coast NRL fans will not have to travel far to see their heroes in action next year.
Bundaberg and Wide Bay rugby league will receive a massive shot in the arm next February after NRL grand finalists North Queensland and Brisbane finalised a deal with the Bundaberg Rugby league to play a pre-season trial at Salter Oval.
The Bundaberg ground has not hosted a major rugby league match since North Sydney played Balmain and the Broncos clashed with Newcastle in a double-header in 1992.
Bundaberg's Brothers Sport Complex hosted a Broncos trial game against South Sydney in 2005, and Childers hosted the same fixture a year later.
Both the Cowboys and Broncos gave tentative agreement provided their terms and conditions could be met and the NRL officially sanctioned the trial.
It's understood the Broncos are very keen to take the trial game to their country fans in Wide Bay where they have recruited a number of players over the years.
APN has learned exclusively the two Queensland power clubs, who staged one of the greatest grand final battles ever earlier this month when Cowboys star Johnathan Thurston kicked a golden point field goal to win clash 17-16, will use the Bundaberg trial to tune up for their World Club Challenge games in the UK next February.
As NRL premiers, the Cowboys will tackle Super League champions the Leeds Rhinos in the WCC showdown for the title of the world's best club side on February 21.
Brisbane will play Wigan on the Saturday.
It means both clubs will play most of their stars in what should certainly be a sell out.
APN contacted to QRL's Central division but they declined to publicly comment until today's announcement.
It's believed both clubs will run clinics before the February 6 trial.
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett is believed to be right behind the trial being played in such a strong rugby league area as Wide Bay.
BRL chairman Mike Ireland will make the announcement at Salter Oval today.