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By ARU Media Unit
Around 750 fans turned out at The Southport School on the Gold Coast on Monday to watch the Qantas Wallabies get put through their paces at an open training session ahead of this Saturday night’s inaugural Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship Test against Argentina.
Fans on the Gold Coast watched as the Men in Gold were put through their training paces yesterday afternoon before the entire squad met with fans, posing for photos and signing autographs.
The fan session was a great opportunity for supporters to wish their favourite Qantas Wallabies stars luck before their first game against The Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship newcomers, Argentina this Saturday night at Skilled Park.
The match is the first International Rugby Test to be played on the Gold Coast and has been greeted by local Gold Coast Rugby enthusiasts with open arms, as demonstrated by the crowd that gathered at The Southport School on Monday.
Those who attended were able to get their hands on a variety of Rugby giveaways, including Qantas Wallabies posters and bags with one lucky fan winning a signed Qantas Wallabies jersey thanks to Australian Rugby Union’s official charity, Redkite.
A number of other lucky fans won tickets to Saturday night’s Test and to the first round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch also held at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast in a month’s time on 13 and 14 October.
Still making his comeback from injury, Qantas Wallabies playmaker, James O’Connor, who is originally from the Gold Coast, was pleased to be part of the open training session yesterday.
“I’m really happy to be able to return to training in time for the first Test on the Gold Coast,” O’Connor said.
“To have Sharpey as Captain is great as well.
“He’s a local Gold Coast boy too so I know he will be keen to lead the team out onto Skilled Park on Saturday night.
“The Pumas supporters are a pretty passionate bunch so I hope there’s a huge amount of Wallabies supporters in the crowd cheering the boys on.”
Qantas Wallabies forward and Gold Coast local, James Slipper said he was looking forward to playing a Test match in his home town.
“It’s good to get this opportunity to go back home for an International test match,” Slipper said.
“There’s a few of us in the squad who are from the Gold Coast so this will be the first time many of us get the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd which is awesome.”
The Qantas Wallabies’ newly named half-back, Nick Phipps was also glad to see International Rugby on the Gold Coast.
“Rugby on the Gold Coast is always great, as seen by the crowds that flocked to the Gold Coast Sevens last year,” Phipps said.
“Gold Coast Rugby fans are really lucky to have so much great Rugby action this year with the Qantas Wallabies match this week and the Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch at Skilled Park on 13 and 14 October.”
Fans have one more chance to see the Qantas Wallabies before the Test match on Saturday night when Radike Samo and Dom Shipperley visit Pacific Fair Shopping Centre in Broadbeach this Thursday as part of the next instalment of the Qantas Wallabies Towns.
Samo and Shipperley will be at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Broadbeach this Thursday 13th September from 1.00 – 3.00pm to meet and greet fans, with some great Rugby giveaways and prizes on offer.
Don’t miss your chance to see the historic clash between the Qantas Wallabies and Argentina for the first time this Saturday 15th September at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast by purchasing your tickets now.
Rugby fans will not want to miss securing their seats at the first and only round of the HSBC Rugby Sevens World Series to be held in Australia, kicking off on the Gold Coast on Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 October this year.