Rep Season officially launched
The Australian Rugby League today officially launched the 2006 Representative Season, presenting the most
action-packed calendar of the game’s modern era.
Twelve matches, including eight internationals, will be played across seven cities in Australia and
New Zealand from May to November.
NSW Premier Mr Morris Iemma joined coaches Ricky Stuart, Brian McLennan, Graham Murray, Kevin Walters, Tim
Sheens and Craig Bellamy and players Darren Lockyer, Anthony Minichiello, Adrian Morley and Nigel Vagana to
launch a programme of high quality matches that give promise of being the most evenly contested in years.
Setting the scene for the season ahead will be the Brisbane Test between Australia and New Zealand on
May 5 at Suncorp Stadium – the first meeting between the teams since the Kiwi’s comprehensive Tri-Nations win
in November last year, and for the Kangaroos their first game under stewardship of Ricky Stuart as Australian
“Anyone who followed the events in England last year and the excitement that built around the Tri-Nations
Tournament will know how important this match is to both teams,” RLIF Chairman Mr Colin Love said.
“The Kiwis win in the final at Elland Road was an historic result and one that has generated enormous
interest across Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain. I can’t think of a better way to kick off what is
such a big year for representative Rugby League.
“The success of State of Origin is set to continue, with the Brisbane match already sold-out.
“The broad appeal of the series is best highlighted by the Victorian Government’s enthusiasm to host game
three at Melbourne’s Telstra Dome, giving us a great opportunity to grow the game there.”
The excitement sure to be generated by the Australia v New Zealand Test is set to continue on Friday May 12
in Dubbo where NSW hopefuls will be doing their best to impress during the AAMI City v Country Origin battle
in which some of the game’s biggest stars will reinforce their commitment to grass roots Rugby League.
Season 2006 sees the most complete changing of the guard at coaching level in representative history, with
Graham Murray guiding the Blues and legend Mal Meninga at the helm of the Maroons, both for the first
The State of Origin Series takes on a fresh dimension with the final match to be played at Melbourne’s
Telstra Dome, giving Victorians the chance to be a part of Australian sport’s greatest rivalry.
With its strategy of boosting participation and building the profile of Rugby League in Victoria, the match
has the backing of the Victorian Government, as outlined in a message from Premier Steve Bracks specially
recorded for the rep season launch.
“Hosting a State of Origin will not only help build the popularity of Rugby League in Victoria, it will
also give Victorians a unique first hand opportunity to see a spectacular sporting contest that has engrossed
our northern neighbours for so many years”, Premier Bracks said in a video statement at today’s launch.
Traditional rivals NSW Premier Morris Iemma and Queensland Premier Peter Beattie also spoke on the
importance of the series to both states.
At season’s end comes the first full-scale Tri-Nations in Australasia.
“The tournament has been an outstanding success in the northern hemisphere for the past two years, playing
to packed houses and with strong television ratings,” Mr Love said.
“Already the demand to see the series on home soil has been immense.
“It’s a challenging logistical exercise but judging by the backing we’ve received from corporate partners
and by the interest level already displayed by the general public we’re confident that we’ll enjoy a very
2006 Representative Schedule and Tri Nations Series
|Fri May 5||Australia||vs||New Zealand||Suncorp Stadium||Brisbane|
|Fri May 12||NSW City||vs||NSW Country||Apex Oval||Dubbo|
|State of Origin Series|
|Wed May 24||New South Wales||vs||Queensland||Telstra Stadium||Sydney|
|Wed June 14||Queensland||vs||New South Wales||Suncorp Stadium||Brisbane|
|Wed July 5||New South Wales||vs||Queensland||Telstra Dome||Melbourne|
|Tri Nations Tournament|
|Sat Oct 14||New Zealand||vs||Australia||Ericsson Stadium||Auckland|
|Sat Oct 21||Australia||vs||New Zealand||Telstra Dome||Melbourne|
|Sat Oct 28||New Zealand||vs||Great Britain||Jade Stadium||Christchurch|
|Sat Nov 4||Australia||vs||Great Britain||Aussie Stadium||Sydney|
|Sat Nov 11||New Zealand||vs||Great Britain||Westpac Stadium||Wellington|
|Sat Nov 18||Australia||vs||Great Britain||Suncorp Stadium||Brisbane|
|Sat Nov 25||FINAL||Aussie Stadium||Sydney|