Bond University Queensland Country prepare to host Fijian Drua in Mackay

Bond University Queensland Country will play their first ever match in Mackay in round three of the National Rugby Championship (NRC) when they host the Fijian Drua at BB Print Stadium this Saturday (September 15), kicking off at 1pm.

The match will form part of what will be a big day for rugby union in Mackay, with the NRC clash being played as the curtain-raiser to the local grand final between the Whitsunday/Proserpine Raiders and Mackay City, which will kick-off at 3.30pm.

Queensland Rugby Union has worked closely with Mackay Rugby Union and Mackay Regional Council ahead of the match.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the region was excited to be hosting top-flight rugby union again at BB Print Stadium Mackay.

“Last year the stadium hosted an international rugby 7s series featuring Australia and Japan and it is fantastic that we again have secured a prestigious rugby union spectacle for our region,’’ he said.

“The NRC match between Queensland Country and Fijian Drua will be streamed live by Fox Sports, ensuring our region will receive wonderful exposure.

“This match will also be followed by our local rugby union grand final, meaning it will be the biggest day of rugby staged in Mackay for many years.

“Council helped secure the NRC match between Queensland Country and Fijian Drua with funding support from its Invest Mackay Events Attraction Program.”

Queensland Country and St.George Queensland Reds lock Harry Hockings, who played junior rugby in Mackay for the Bowen Mudcrabs, is looking forward to returning to the region and playing in front of family and friends.

“It’s been a long time since I have had the opportunity to play up north and I can’t wait to run out at BB Print Stadium in Queensland Country colours this weekend,” said Hockings.

“As a team, we focus on representing the entire Queensland Country community and this weekend we have the chance to do that in Mackay for the first time, which will be special for the team.”

Sam Cordingley, QRU's general manager of Professional Rugby, said: “Part of our NRC strategy is taking games to regional areas and clubs in an effort to engage with the grassroots rugby community.

“Country have enjoyed great support from regions, including the Darling Downs, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton and Townsville previously, and we look forward to bringing Mackay into the fold this weekend,” he said.

As part of the pre-game promotion, Queensland Country players will conduct a number of school visits in Mackay this Friday, including St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Mercy College, Mackay Christian College, Beaconsfield State School and Whitsunday Anglican School.

At a glance
The match between Queensland Country and Fijian Dura kicks off at 1pm on Saturday at BB Print Stadium and will be streamed via Fox Sports.

Tickets are available at themecc.com.au