The Melbourne Rebels have announced that they will play a Super Rugby warm up match against New Zealand rivals the Hurricanes on Saturday the 8th of February.
In the first game of Rugby to be played under lights at Simonds Stadium, with kick-off at 7:30pm, the two sides will renew their rivalries in what is sure to be another fascinating chapter in the short history between both Clubs.
All three meetings, including last year's pre-season clash at the same venue, have been high-scoring affairs with a staggering average of 83 points per game.
Back in 2011, the Hurricanes became the first non-Australian team to be defeated by the Rebels in the Club's history.
Former and future Wallabies scored all five tries for the Rebels, with towering lock Al Campbell scoring a double as the home side recovered from 17-0 down at one stage to win 42-25 in front of an adoring AAMI Park faithful.
Although not drawn to play against each other in the 2013 Super Rugby season, a big crowd saw the Hurricanes sneak a 47-45 victory against the Rebels in Geelong last season after trailing 20-0 early in the piece.
The two Clubs are scheduled to meet at AAMI Park on Friday May 9th, but following the success of last year's trial the Hurricanes were more than happy to head across the Tasman again, with Rebels' CEO Rob Clarke delighted to again take Rugby outside of Melbourne.
"We've made a commitment to help promote and grow the game of Rugby across all of Victoria, and by again taking the Club to Geelong we will provide another opportunity for people from different parts of the state to come and watch Rugby at its highest level," Clarke said.
"We will be looking to utilise the fantastic facilities, including the new lights of Simonds Stadium, as we move forward as a Club; with the possibility for match professional Rugby matches to played in Geelong.
"I encourage all Rebels Members to jump in the car, or on the train, and get down to the game; I know that those I have spoken with who went last year really enjoyed themselves."
"It's game on at Geelong - with the big clash between Melbourne Rebels and Wellington Hurricanes at our own Simonds Stadium," said City of Greater Geelong Mayor Cr Darryn Lyons.
"The return of two Super Rugby sides to play a pre-season trial match in Geelong is testament to the quality of our magnificent stadium and confirmation of our city's capacity and skill in hosting major sporting events," said Mayor Lyons.
"It will be an historic first with Victoria's own Rebels playing under lights for the first time in Geelong.
"There's no doubt Simonds Stadium is a world class facility and the top-class Rugby is just one example of the opportunities we have to further promote premium international events at Geelong's home stadium," said Mayor Lyons.
"I urge sports fans to book their tickets early and come along to witness a classic trans-Tasman clash in our own backyard, in our own world class stadium," he said.
Simonds Stadium Fast Facts:
- Total Stadium capacity 34,435
- Players Stand including Southern Terrace capacity 9,383
- Light towers 75 metres high
- 101 lights per tower
- Maximum lighting power 1400LUX
- 200 metres of LED perimeter signage
- 42 Aussie Rules games this year, AFL, VFL, GFL, TAC Cup, U18 Championships
- 350 AFL and VFL training sessions this year
- Host venue for Nitro Circus, Super Rugby and NRL pre-season match