The Queensland Reds and Western Force have confirmed their 2022 pilot schedules, headlined by a game between the two sides on February 5.
The match was originally scheduled to take place in Geraldton, but border and COVID complications forced the match to take place behind closed doors in Ballymore.
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“We have been working closely with the Force as we prepare for the season,” Rugby Reds GM Sam Cordingley said in a statement.
“It is unfortunate due to border restrictions that we cannot travel to Western Australia, but we are pleased to have found a solution for both teams and are grateful to the Force for their cooperation.
The Reds will complete their preparations against the NSW Waratahs in Roma on February 12 as part of the ‘Santos Festival of Rugby’, with both matches available to Reds email subscribers.
“Last year the Santos Rugby Festival in Narrabri was a huge success and we look forward to hosting the event in our home state this year,” added Cordingley.
“A key focus for everyone at the Reds is connecting with our state and the people we represent, and our journey to Roma is another opportunity to do just that.”
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Meanwhile, the Force will begin their pre-season testing on January 30, as they take on Super Rugby Pacific newcomers Fijian Drua in Ballina.
“This is the perfect opportunity to see the team’s hard work in action against quality opponents,” explains Rugby General Manager Matt Hodgson.
“While we wish we could have played for our members and fans here in WA, we would like to thank the Reds for their cooperation throughout the process to secure a match in Brisbane. “It’s an exciting time in Super Rugby and to play the Fijian Drua ahead of their inaugural campaign is a great opportunity for the group.”
Tasting schedules for the season:
Fijian Drua vs Western Force – Sunday, January 30 – Ballina Rugby Union Club, NSW
Queensland Reds vs Western Force – Saturday, February 5 – Ballymore, QLD
Queensland Reds v Western Force: Saturday, February 5, 2022, Ballymore Stadium (closed trial). Queensland Reds v New South Wales Waratahs: Saturday 12 February 2022, Roma Echidnas Rugby Club, Roma.