The new and soon to be completed Western Sydney Stadium has its regular tenants lined up and there will be no shortage of one-offs, by which we emphatically do not mean Adele concerts, although it might be a nice place to take in a Courtney Barnett show.
In this instance, however, we are discussing the recent announcement that the Wallabies will play a pre-Rugby World Cup Test with Samoa in early September.
That has the rugby touts out in force. Wallaby Kurtley Beale went so far as to express the belief that the Test is a chance for growth of the game.
The plan is for Parramatta to host the Test between Australia and Samoa before World Cup begins in earnest with Fiji nearer the end of September.
Samoa is not exactly the idea tune up for England or New Zealand, or Ireland, for that matter, but last time out, Samoa proved that the 17th world ranking is not necessarily a guarantee, as they beat Australia 32 – 23 just under eight years ago.
There should be plenty of support for Samoa in the western suburbs, something that prompted Beale to tell reporters, “It’s a great opportunity for the game to grow rugby in that area. There are other big codes in the area, rugby league, football’s growing, AFL. For the Waratahs and the Wallabies to take games out to the new Parramatta Stadium, it’s a great opportunity for the game to reach out to our young followers and show them a part of our game.”
Wallaby Coach Michael Cheika had some ideas of his own.
“With the World Cup in our sights this year we really want to build some momentum to help take our game up a level or two, I think that’s really important for us,” Cheika said. “We will have a few new tricks up our sleeve this season so we might look a little different to what most people may expect.”
It will be the last hit-out for Australia before they head to Japan for the World Cup.