Pacific Islands XV takes on Lions as part of Rugby Australia
Meanwhile, Queensland Rugby Union fear Brisbane will be sidelined for the remainder of the Test match against Adelaide or Perth due to aggressive bids from the South Australian and Western Australian governments.
Sydney and Melbourne have completed Lions Tests under long-term funding agreements with their state governments, but there is increasing recognition that Adelaide Oval or Optus Stadium are the front runners for the other Test.
South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas has been scrambling to boost tourism after major sporting events, and LIV Golf and Supercars headed there this year after the Wallabies Rugby Championship win over South Africa in 2022 drew a crowd of 36,000.
Sources close to negotiations said that herald that WA and SA had submitted aggressive bids to win hosting rights to the game.
However, QRU boss David Hanham said Brisbane is the game’s natural home.
“You want to go to your markets where you know you’re going to get a good turnout and you’re going to get people to embrace it,” he said. “Rugby in Queensland is strong; we’re 140 years old, we’ve never missed a Lions series and we don’t want to miss it now. I think it’s important that they take all of that into account.
“The lions are crucial for us. Apart from a Rugby World Cup, it is the largest rugby sporting event in the world. It brings 40,000 passionate Lions fans to Australia and has been proven [in 2001] as they played here and filled the gabba red and shocked the wallabies.
“My conversations with the Queensland Government are they don’t want to be out of the running, they want to win this event. They know how important it is to the economy, tourism and rugby.”
A Queensland government spokesman said the Wallabies’ outstanding record of victories at Suncorp Stadium should be a key consideration for rugby “Sydney decision-makers”.
“Queensland is a real, real rugby state and we are not used to broadcasting to our competitors the content we intend to secure for the country’s leading visitor economy,” the spokesman said.
RA has indicated it will bring games to non-traditional markets if state governments are willing to pay the maximum amount. Sydney risks missing Melbourne for the 2027 World Cup final.
Stadium and tourism sources said Rugby Australia and the NSW government were close to signing an agreement that would result in Sydney hosting a Bledisloe Cup Test in 2024 and every two years thereafter.
But Accor Stadium, site of the 2003 World Cup final, the 2014 Super Rugby final and Australia’s most recent Bledisloe Cup win, faces an uphill battle to secure the final of the 2027 tournament.
World Rugby and RA will conduct a bidding process to set matches before all venues are announced at the end of this year’s World Cup in France.
Perth, Sydney and Melbourne are the only cities with stadiums large enough to host a final and Victoria’s supporters are determined to host the event.
Sources close to the negotiations said so herald that Victorian officials had promised to match any financial offer from a rival state and provide a record crowd for a World Cup match.
The record is 89,267 for a pool match between Ireland and Romania at Wembley Stadium during the 2015 tournament. Only the MCG (100,000 capacity), Australia’s largest stadium, can beat this benchmark.
High attendance was also part of Australia’s pitch for hosting rights in 2021, guaranteeing that the MCG will be used for outstanding matches and knockout rounds.
Sydney supporters fear a sell-out MCG for this year’s Bledisloe Cup Test would spell the mark for the 2027 final.
Check out all the action from the Super Rugby Pacific stream ad-free, live and on-demand at every game Stan sports.
Check out all the action from the Six Nations with every match streamed ad-free, live and exclusively on Stan Sport.
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/pacific-s-best-to-face-lions-on-2025-australia-tour-but-brisbane-on-the-outer-20230308-p5cqce.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Pacific Islands XV takes on Lions as part of Rugby Australia