Australian Rugby Union today announced iconic rock legend, Colin Hay, will headline the pre-match entertainment ahead of the first Test of the DHL Australia 2013 Lions Tour.
The former Men At Work front man will be the main feature of an exciting pre-game show that will also include performances from the Qantas Choir and Lions Choir, a special acknowledgement of country as well as a look back at the 1989 and 2001 Lions Tours.
ARU CEO Bill Pulver said a lot of hard work and planning had gone in to delivering what will be an exciting pre-match show.
“The pre-match entertainment that will be delivered on Saturday night will reflect the magnitude of a Tour that’s been 12 years in the making,” Mr Pulver said.
“There are some exciting plans for all three of the Test matches, all of which will be announced in the next few weeks, but this Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium we will kick-off the DHL Australia 2013 Lions Tour with an icon of the Australian rock industry.
“Down Under is one of the great Australian rock anthems, and to have the man that made it such a huge hit, Colin Hay, at Suncorp Stadium to perform it will be fantastic.
“Each of the three Tests will have specific themes, on Saturday evening the theme is welcome to Australia, and what better way to welcome the best of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to our shores than with one of our great iconic rock anthems, Down Under.”
The pre-match entertainment begins at 7:35pm prior to the opening Test of the Tour kicking off at 8:00pm and Mr Pulver believes it will act as an added incentive to get to the ground early.
“We always encourage people to get to the ground early to avoid delays and ensure they don’t miss out on the action.
“There is now even more reason to arrive early this Saturday.
“The opening Test between the Qantas Wallabies and the Lions promises to be a great encounter as does the pre-match entertainment, so plan your trip, arrive early and enjoy a fantastic evening of entertainment.”
Ticket holders to the match receive free public transport to and from the Test, more information and timetables can be found at translink.com.au.
Released in 1981, Down Under became an instant hit with Australian fans shooting to the top of the charts for little over a month from December 1981 to January 1982, knocking off Olivia Newton-John’s Physical.
The iconic rock anthem then made its mark around the world, reaching number one status in seven other countries including the UK, the USA and Canada.
The former Men At Work front man said he was very excited to be playing before the big match.
“I enjoy men tackling each other and moving forward by throwing the ball backwards,” Mr Hay said.
“When that ball goes out the line it’s a thing of beauty. I’m very very happy to be a part of it.
“I’m a bit of an import myself so I’m very happy to welcome our brothers and sisters to this fair land.
“I’m going to go with the gold because we left there and came here.
“I perform in Australia very often but not very often where there’s such a sense of spectacle.
‘We closed the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and I’ve played Down Under a couple of times before big Rugby matches so it’s fantastic.
“You can’t really replicate that atmosphere, it’s fantastic.
“Hopefully the fans will come a bit earlier than kick-off because they can warm their voices up by helping me sing the tune.”
A limited number of tickets to the opening Test of DHL Australia 2013 Lions Tour have been release by Australian Rugby and can be purchased through ticketek.com.au.
For those not able to secure a ticket all the action will be broadcast live across the country on Fox Sports and Channel 10.
Fox Sports will begin their broadcast of the first Test from 7:30pm AEST on Fox Sports 2HD, while Channel 10 will also begin their Live across the country coverage from 7:30pm AEST ahead of the 8:00pm AEST kick-off.