Grounded wing weapon Suliasi Vunivalu is excited about igniting his Wallabies’ career in the mini-World Cup in store for Queensland over the next month.
Tickets went on sale on Wednesday for the four blockbuster double-headers that are set to thrill fans across the northern state in the eToro Rugby Championship.
Fans will be able to purchase tickets from just $49 for an adult, which covers entry for both Tests of the double-headers, with the bonus of “bringing a mate for free.”
The new initiative means an additional ticket to the double-headers will be included at no extra cost in certain categories.
Vunivalu has been repairing his troublesome hamstring in the Wallabies’ rehab group in Queensland and finally senses a comeback is on the cards.
“I’ll be right to go in a couple of weeks,” Vunivalu said in Brisbane on Wednesday.
“I have to pass a few fitness tests to show my hamstring is right and my speed is back.”
When the Queensland Reds winger was kicking out of a tackle on the way to the tryline and showing his balanced running when roaming off the wing against the Chiefs in May, you knew rugby had signed a potential star.
It has been largely frustration since but Vunivalu is itching to be on the big stage in the The Rugby Championship.
“It’s really exciting to have the tournament in Queensland. It’s good for Australia to get the home advantage but also for the big fan base to get four countries here,” Vunivalu said.
“If I do get in there, I want to take the opportunity with both hands.”
Vunivalu agreed that the tournament’s condensed nature at three venues around Queensland gave the TRC the feeling of a mini-World Cup.
Australia’s own bid to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup is energising rugby people across the country with a hosting announcement due next year.
“We know that a World Cup bid for Australia stacks up. Everyone would be looking forward to it if it does happen,” Vunivalu said.
Vunivalu said his own experience highlighted that an Australian tournament was a tournament for the whole Oceania region through the rugby lovers of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga as well.
“I’d love to be playing in it. It will inspire a lot of Pacific Islands kids to be here. It will be big,” Vunivalu said.
“I was watching on TV back in Fiji (as a seven-year-old) when Jonny Wilkinson was killing it every game at the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
“I’ve always wanted to play rugby on a big rugby stage. I went straight to league but I’m happy to be back in rugby so I can achieve my goal in rugby.”
Ticket prices have been made accessible. Tickets for a family of four start at $98 for Rounds Three (September 12) and Six (October 2) of the TRC at Cbus Super Stadium.
That has huge appeal when the Wallabies, All Blacks, Springboks and Argentina are all on the same menu in double-headers.
On September 18, nominated bays at Suncorp Stadium will be exclusively available for frontline workers on the night the Wallabies meet the Springboks with the All Blacks on the undercard.
“Having these affordable and accessible ticket prices will only add to the festival of Rugby which is set to takeover Queensland,” Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos said.
“I’d encourage fans to log-on to take up one of the many offers because we’ve seen our fast tickets sold for the Wallabies-All Blacks Test in Perth on Sunday.”
Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium will host its first-ever Test on September 25, including the historic 100th clash between the mighty rivals from New Zealand and South Africa.
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Tickets went on sale via wallabies.rugby from 3pm AEST on Wednesday, September 1. Every Wallabies Test will be ad-free, live and on-demand with extended coverage on Stan Sport. At the same time, every home Wallabies Test will also be live, free-to-air on the Nine Network. Hospitality packages are on sale now. Private suites, corporate boxes and functions are available for fans who want to enhance their Test match experience. Information on hospitality packages is available here.
2021 RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES AND MATCH SCHEDULE
Sat 14 August: New Zealand 57 def Australia 22 at Eden Park, Auckland
Sat 14 August: South Africa 32 def Argentina 12 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Sat 21 August: Argentina 10 def by South Africa 29 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Sun 5 September: Australia v New Zealand - Optus Stadium, Perth
Sun 12 September: New Zealand v Argentina at Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Sun 12 September: South Africa v Australia at Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Sat 18 September: Australia v South Africa at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Sat 18 September: Argentina v New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Sat 25 September: New Zealand v South Africa at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Sat 25 September: Australia v Argentina at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Sat 2 October: Argentina v Australia at Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Sat 2 October: South Africa v New Zealand at Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast