The Queensland Reds have confirmed that they will warm up for the 2013 Super Rugby season with a trial match against current Super Rugby champions the Chiefs at at Stockland Stadium Sunshine Coast on Friday the 8th of February.
The encounter is the second straight year Queensland Rugby has taken elite-level Rugby and the Reds to the Sunshine Coast after the region hosted an exhibition match against New Zealand's Hurricanes in June.
The announcement of the Chiefs trial game continues Queensland Rugby's commitment to growing the code on the Sunshine Coast and also finalises the Reds preseason activity for 2013 with their opening trial game of the year being held in Toowoomba against the Blues on Saturday 2 February.
The Sunshine Coast trial game will be a crucial hit-out for the Reds before their Super Rugby campaign commences a week later with a blockbuster opening round clash against the Brumbies in Canberra on February 16.
Reds Head Coach Richard Graham said the chance to host the 2012 champion Chiefs would be a good opportunity to challenge the squad just prior to the season kicking off.
"The Super Rugby competition has become a virtual sprint for 2013 with the majority of our regular season fixtures completed by the June Test window. As a consequence of the scheduling, it is important we commence our campaign strongly," Graham said.
"This will be the last opportunity for players to impress before round one selection against the Brumbies and we will want to see the squad execute all we have worked on during the preseason.
"Considering this, it's ideal to have an opportunity to host a trial game against last year's champions on the Sunshine Coast.
"The opportunity to play and perform well on the Sunshine Coast is also something the team is excited about after having received such a positive response and support from the community during this year's exhibition game."
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the decision to have the Reds return to the Sunshine Coast.
"I am very happy the Sunshine Coast is being given the opportunity once again to host a Queensland Reds game," Cr Mark Jamieson said.
"The code has a good following here on the Coast, as evidenced by the attendance at the Reds-Hurricanes game earlier this year.
"I look forward to the event on February the 8th."
Sunshine Coast Rugby Union Chairman Glenn Ferguson also praised the return of the Reds.
"We are proud to welcome back the Queensland Reds to the Sunshine Coast," Mr Ferguson said.
"The Sunny Coast Rugby community embraced the exhibition match played earlier this year with great numbers attending the game.
"We welcome the opportunity to connect the Sunshine Coast community with the commercial partners supporting Rugby on the Coast.
"Sunshine Coast Rugby Union continues to maintain its support of player pathways as seen by Blake Enever's success with the Reds."
2013 will be a year to remember for Reds supporters with The British & Irish Lions to make their first tour to Australia in 12 years. As part of their tour, at least half of the Reds 35-man squad will get their first taste of Test-like Rugby in a historic Tour match against the visitors at Suncorp Stadium on June 8.
As well as that first encounter against the Lions since 2001, the Reds have been handed a great Super Rugby draw at Suncorp Stadium in 2013 which includes home games against Aussie rivals the NSW Waratahs, Western Force, ACT Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels, plus Ewen McKenzie's men will take on New Zealand's Hurricanes and Blues as well as South Africa's Bulls and Sharks.
Reds Members and Sunshine Coast Rugby Union Members will receive a priority purchase opportunity to secure their seat for the trial match against the Chiefs before general public sale commences at 9:00am on Monday 24 December (presale information below).
Tickets for the encounter can be secured through Ticketek : http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=REDCHIEF13
Queensland Reds v Chiefs Trial Match Ticketing Information and Prices
Reds Member Presale: 12:00pm Wednesday 19 December to 11:00am Friday 21 December
Sunshine Coast Rugby Union Member Presale: 12:00pm Friday 21 December to 12:00am Sunday 23 December
General Public Sale: 9:00am Monday 24 December
General Admission Adult: $25
General Admission Children (Ages 4-16): $15
General Admission Family Pass (Two Adults + Two Children): $70
Grandstand Adult: $50