The NSW Waratahs have confirmed their opening Super Rugby trial match for 2021 will be in the Southern Highlands, as they take on the Brumbies in Bowral.
It will be the first time the Waratahs have played a fixture of any kind in Bowral, with the match scheduled for Saturday 30 January at 5pm.
It will be the first official hit-out for Rob Penney’s side, ahead of their season opener against the Reds on Friday 19 February.
NSW Rugby CEO, Paul Doorn said it was exciting to see top-flight rugby in the Bowral for the first time.
“There’s a passionate and engaged rugby community in Bowral and right throughout the Southern Highlands,” Doorn said.
“To be able to bring a game of this quality to their doorstop ahead of the Super Rugby AU season is something we’re really excited about.
“Not only do we hope to see a big turnout from local rugby fans on game day, but also travelling support for both teams from Sydney and Canberra to fill up coffee shops, restaurants and pubs across the weekend.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the support we’ve received from the Bowral Blacks Rugby Club in making this trial match possible.”
Brumbies CEO, Phil Thomson said: "We're excited to be part of what is sure to be a great day for rugby in the Southern Highlands.”
"From Bowral to Burrawang and Moss Vale to Mittagong, we know there's a real passion for the game there and bringing a key preseason trial to the area is a great initiative from NSW rugby.
"Hopefully, fans from Canberra and Sydney and all those in our region can come together to build towards the 2021 Super Rugby season and although it's a trial, any game between our clubs is meaningful so it should be a fantastic day."
Bowral Blacks Rugby Club President, Mark Freund said: “All of us at the Bowral Blacks are proud to host this opening pre- season game. The opportunity to see Super Rugby close up at our own field is a positive way to kick off our 2021 season.
“The passion for rugby is alive and kicking in the Southern Highlands and this weekend will be enjoyed by many members, sponsors and supporters.
“Bowral Blacks have worked hard to build a new clubhouse and facilities to enable us to host this event.
“This year we welcomed back former Blacks and NSW player Steve Talbot as club coach to support our aim to develop rugby in our community.”
Further details on the trial and surrounding events will be confirmed in the New Year.
NSW Waratahs v Brumbies
Saturday 30 January
Bowral Blacks Rugby Club