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

National

Sonny Bill Williams' BMW sponsorship reviewed over links to Muslim extremists Duco Events 'surprised' to hear that All Blacks won't play at Brisbane Global Tens Fielding lapses not catching for Black Caps with improvement forecast Steven Adams returns to OKC Thunder lineup after concussion stand-down Venus Williams reaches first semi at Melbourne Park in 14 years Tiger Woods returns to Riviera, where PGA Tour career began Dashing steeplechaser Rangatira has run his last race Put the phone down: England rugby players told to reduce mobile phone use Southland golfer Scott Hellier bringing good form into Otago and Southland Strokeplay golf tournaments Black Caps coach Mike Hesson: Neil Wagner unfairly run out - time for a rule rethink

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

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content