Australian Rugby Union today announced a Family Friendly theme for the Qantas Wallabies opening Test of the season against Samoa at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Sunday, 17 July.
Tickets for the two Tests in Sydney go on sale today – the first on 17 July against Samoa and the second, the heavyweight showdown with defending World Cup champions South Africa, six days later at the same venue on 23 July.
For the first time in six years the Qantas Wallabies will play a day time Test with kick-off for the match against the Samoans set for the family-friendly time of 2pm.
In further initiative designed to appeal to families a unique feature of the Test will be a Fan Day to be staged in the lead-up to the clash with the two-time Rugby World Cup quarter finalists.
There is a range of activities planned for the whole family with the Fan Day to be staged in Cathy Freeman Park, adjacent to ANZ Stadium, from 11:30am to 1:30pm.
Kids will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with their heroes, with almost 20 Qantas Wallabies on hand for the two-hours of pre-Test entertainmen
The non-playing members of a 40-man Qantas Wallabies squad will be manning several autograph stations in Cathy Freeman Park - and will be available for photos with fans - from 11:45am.
There will also be a range of cultural activities including singing and dancing on show for families to enjoy as well as:
• Skills sessions,
• Face painting,
• A History of Rugby display,
• Qantas Horizontal Bungee,
• Live Music and more.
Equally compelling for Rugby fans will be the appearances from a large number of Australian Rugby Legends as ARU celebrates the 20th anniversary of the historic 1991 Rugby World Cup triumph.
Members of the famous side, captained by halfback Nick Farr-Jones, will sign autographs and be interviewed on stage in Cathy Freeman Park from 11:30am.
The 1991 World Cup champions are still considered one of the finest teams Australia has ever produced.
The pack included the Tony Daly, Phil Kearns and Ewen McKenzie front row, with John Eales, Simon Poidevin and Willie Ofahengaue also members of the feared forward unit.
Behind the scrum were all time greats Farr-Jones, Michael Lynagh, Tim Horan, Jason Little and David Campese.
ARU Managing Director and CEO, John O’Neill AO, said the early kick-off and pre-match entertainment was aimed at ensuring the Rugby community could welcome the start of the international season in a family-friendly atmosphere.
“Having a Sunday afternoon kick-off for the first time since 2005 combined with a range of activities and entertainment prior to the game is designed to give families a real opportunity to enjoy a day out at a Test match – the first in this Rugby World Cup year,” Mr O’Neill said.
“It is also important that our fans have a chance to interact with their heroes both past and present through the signing stations, given there are only limited opportunities this year for them to see the Wallabies in action at home.
“I encourage families to come and enjoy a fantastic Festival of Rugby and of course cheer on the Qantas Wallabies as they kick-start their season against Samoa.”
Earlier in the year ARU announced attractive family ticket prices for the Samoa Test with a family (two adults and three children or one adult and four children) able to purchase a five ticket package for just $50 in the General Admission category.
A single children’s General Admission ticket has been priced at $13.
The offers to the Springboks Test match on Saturday 23 July include a Juniors and Schools deal with bronze category tickets for Adults and Children slashed to just $20.
Anyone involved in the game at Juniors or Schools level - whether they are players, coaches, match officials, volunteers or families of participants - can access the offer by visiting www.rugby.com.au.
The Adult ticket price for the South African Test is down from $59 to $20 while the Child's price has been reduced from $30 to $20.
"It is about rewarding the people who play or are involved in our game at the grassroots level," Mr O'Neill said
"They are important and significant contributors to our game, and offering them these types of discounts is our way of rewarding them - of saying 'thank you' for what they are doing for Rugby.
"We wanted to give them the opportunity to see the Qantas Wallabies in what could be a season-defining Test.”
Tickets are on sale now from the ticketek website – www.ticketek.com.au
A full breakdown of ticket prices is below.
Qantas Wallabies v Samoa
ANZ Stadium, Sydney, 17 July 2011
General Admission - Adult
General Admission - Concession
General Admission - Child
General Admission – Family
Qantas Wallabies v South Africa
ANZ Stadium, Sydney, 23 July 2011
Silver – Adult
Silver – Concession
Silver - Child
Silver – Family
Bronze – Adult
Bronze - Concession
Bronze – Child
Bronze – Family
** Family ticket is 2 adults & 3 children OR 1 adult, 4 children (total of 5 people)