Rogers backs Queensland to show off bid prowess as it welcomes TRC

Thu, 09/09/2021, 07:00 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies legends Mat Rogers and Lote Tuqiri spoke to media on the Gold Coast, ahead of the eToro Rugby Championship doubleheader at Cbus Super Stadium.

Wallabies legend Mat Rogers believes the TRC is the perfect platform as Queensland prepares to show off its hosting capabilities for the Rugby World Cup 2027 bid.

Queensland is set to host a 'mini-World Cup' over the next month, with four double-headers played across the region, starting with the Gold Coast on Sunday.

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CBUS Super Stadium is set to bookend the Queensland leg of the tournament, hosting the final round on October 2, including a blockbuster clash between South Africa and the All Blacks.

With some of the world's best set to play in the double-headers, Rogers was confident the Gold Coast will embrace the concept and take advantage of the unique opportunity.

“It’s an amazing place to watch sport. We’ve got some of the greatest Rugby players in the world gracing the field on the Gold Coast which doesn’t happen very often so we’re grateful for that opportunity,” Rogers told reporters.

“I was out there last time they played Argentina (in 2018) and I think RA has done a great job of giving fans the opportunity to bring a mate for free which is fantastic, the tickets are very affordable. They are going to see some world-class Rugby on a home stage.

“It’s not very often you get the chance to see the All Blacks who without doubt over the last 100 years has been the premier side in World Rugby, we’ve got our national side playing against the Springboks who are multiple world champions.

“We’ve got the best players in the world here and if you’re not excited by that as a Rugby fan or even as a sport fan, you’ve got to have your head read.”

The tournament will be perfect preparation for a 2027 Rugby World Cup bid according to Rogers, imploring the state to rally behind the Wallabies.

“Absolutely, we have world-class facilities here on the Gold Coast,” he said.

“It’s almost like a mini-World Cup, isn’t it? We’re going all over the state and it’s a good test for RA to manage that and also for Australian fans to get out and show the Rugby Football Union (RFU) that we’re behind the game,

“We’re fortunate in Queensland that we’re not locked down, we can get out and support our local, state and national teams and I’m sure the Gold Coast public will do that.

“Gold Coasters, get behind your team! This isn’t the state or local team, this is Australia. Good, bad or indifferent, my heart bleeds green and gold and I’m excited to get out and support them and I hope everyone on the Gold Coast is as well.

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The cross-code star knows the power of a home World Cup, which was the catalyst behind his switch in 2002.

The magnitude and power of hosting one of the biggest sporting events in the world was magnified for Rogers, who believes a successful big can inspire similar switches.

“Throw the book at Tommy Turbo (Trbojevic),” he said with a laugh when asked about who should make the switch.

“The Rugby World Cup in 2003 was a huge carrot. I remember sitting in the stand, sneaking out of the dressing room before the first game against France when the Opening Ceremony was on and it brought tears to my eyes knowing the enormity of what I was a part of.

“It’s easy to look at from afar and say it’s an incredible event but when you are in it and you're a part of it, it’s truly magical and special and memories I will keep for a lifetime. Playing with some of the greatest guys and created friendships for a lifetime.

"I would recommend if you had the chance to be a part of it, grab it with both hands because it’s pretty special.”

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