Canberra Raiders are looking to create a bumper weekend of sport in Wagga.
The NRL club want to hold the city’s first competition game in 21 years following the Wagga Gold Cup carnival.
The Raiders locked in a agreement with Wagga City Council on Monday night to have a NRL game played at Equex Centre in both 2019 and 2020, with an option for another in 2021.
Canberra chief executive Don Furner said the club are looking at the early May timeslot.
“We’ve spoken to the Mayor and Council here and have to go back to the NRL to look at the schedule, but they will be very complaint with us,” Furner said.
“We would love it to coincide with the big race carnival.
“A lot of our fans like the races and they love the footy and would spend the weekend out here.”
It will not not the first time racing and rugby league showcase events have been held on the same weekend with the City-Country sellout held days after the Gold Cup in 2015.
Murrumbidgee Turf Club chief executive Scott Sanbrook believes it would be a great move.
“It would add to what is already an exciting time for the city,” Sanbrook said.
“We had a City-Country game on the Sunday after and that was extremely successful and I can’t see it being anything but positive.
“It would be a win-win situation.”
Sanbrook believes each event would hope boost crowds with another attraction on the offer for those travelling.
Furner also announced plans for six under 20s games to be played in the region with the side rebranded as the Riverina Raiders.
Like the date and opponent for the NRL fixture, it is also pending further confirmation but he believes it is an important step to foster young rugby league talent.
“We want the kids in this region to aspire to play rugby league but to stay here and not feel like they have to go to Sydney or a big city to get the same opportunity,” Furner said.
“This is the first step and we are looking for some other opportunities for junior representative teams in this region as it is a great sporting town.”
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