Wallabies director of rugby Scott Johnson says July’s Test in Townsville against Fiji sends a clear message.
“We want to make sure our friends in the other codes know we’re in town,” he said.
“We should scream from the ceiling how good our sport is.”
Johnson was in Townsville, home of the NRL’s North Queensland Cowboys, with former Wallabies great David Campese on Friday to spruik what will be the team’s first ever Test in the city.
International rugby was last played in North Queensland 17 years ago, when Fiji played Japan in Townsville at the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
“It’s a shame that we didn’t get the opportunity in our day to play around the country,” Campese said.
“It’s about enjoying the game and telling the kids … rugby’s a sport you can go anywhere in the world, plus (compete in sevens at the) Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games.
“We have got something that’s unique, so to bring rugby to places where it’s not played a lot at the higher level is a great opportunity.”
The July 18 fixture at the new 25,000-seat Queensland Country Bank Stadium will be a double-header, with the Wallaroos set to play world No.3 Canada.
And Fiji could boast former Parramatta flyer Semi Radradra in an improved squad capable of testing Dave Rennie’s men.
“I’m just worried if it’s going to be this hot when the game’s on we’ll be playing into the Fijians hands,” Campese said.
“They’re coming up through the ranks, most of their players play overseas so are playing good rugby week in, week out.”