AFL team keen to make mark in Wellington

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2012
Nick Riewoldt
Getty Images
ALL ACTION: Nick Riewoldt, of the St Kilda Saints in action.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Jonathan Brownlee wins men's race in Auckland World Series triathlon meet Gwen Jorgensen wins triathlon series race in Auckland as Kiwi Andrea Hewitt battles for third America's Cup bosses risk double blow as Team NZ and Luna Rossa consider options Powerhouse times surge perfectly at Maadi Cup Archbold on podium in Corsica Australian surfer Keely Andrew takes out Port Taranaki Pro Auckland ITU triathlon favourite Spaniard Javier Gomez loves waterfront course New Zealand para-cyclists Emma Foy and Laura Fairweather defend their world title Israel Adesanya earns split decision win over American Brian Minto in Super 8 final Hamilton Boys' High School defend Maadi Cup title in dramatic fashion

The St Kilda Saints will visit Wellington in January, and the AFL will place two fulltime staff in the city, as preparations step up for next year's historic Anzac Day clash with the Sydney Swans.

The Westpac Stadium match will be the first time an AFL game has been played for premiership points outside Australia and all parties are working hard behind the scenes to ensure it is a success.

The AFL's international development manager, Tony Woods, was in Wellington on Monday and Tuesday and held further talks with broadcast partners in Auckland yesterday.

"It's a massive undertaking and one that's going to require a lot of time and effort," Woods said. "So trips to Wellington will become a lot more frequent over the coming months."

The AFL will have staff working in Wellington by late January or early February to promote the game and co-ordinate planning.

Woods believes a sellout of the 34,500 stadium is achievable and promised pricing would be affordable for curious Kiwis.

"We've got to connect with the Wellington and New Zealand community. There is a lot riding on it. We only get one chance to play this historic first game outside of Australia, and Wellington is the place we've chosen. So we've got a vested interest in it being a success."

An elite Australian academy team will play against a New Zealand representative team in Wellington in late January, coinciding with a visit from St Kilda.

Saints players will participate in community activities and tickets will also go on sale.

The fact the Swans are the reigning champions adds extra lustre to the occasion.

"The Swans were fantastic this year and we'd expect them to be challenging for the title again next year," Woods said.

"Their games against St Kilda were really strong and competitive games, so we're expecting a pretty tight contest. While it's very much a St Kilda home game and St Kilda's leading the charge in New Zealand, the Swans are very excited about the opportunity to come across and play too."

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content