A team from Samoa will be among three hundred of the world’s finest rugby players representing 14 clubs from six countries - and an army of fans – who will descend upon Suncorp Stadium for two days of rugby heaven in February for the Brisbane Global Tens.
And Manu Samoa Samoa Coach, Namulauulu Alama Ieremia is excited about the opportunity.
“We are grateful and appreciate the opportunity as we see this as an international global event in which elite professional teams and clubs will showcase their talents,” he said.
“We are excited and are very keen to do well in this tournament. We are looking forward to mixing it up with the major teams."
Founded by major events company Duco Events - the creator of the spectacularly successful Downer NRL Auckland Nines tournament - in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland (T.E.Q) and Brisbane City Council through Brisbane Marketing, the Brisbane Global Tens kicks off next year and will be a fixture on the rugby calendar for the next four seasons.
“The Brisbane Global Tens is the pre-eminent rugby tens tournament on the planet on every measure,” David Higgins, the director of Duco Events said.
“The quality of clubs, players and venue, the participation and prize money, broadcast reach and audience size is unprecedented, making it a truly unique event that will become an iconic fixture in the international sporting calendar.”
The inaugural event on February 11 and 12, 2017 will feature ten professional franchises from Samoa, Australia and New Zealand as well as French powerhouse club Toulon, Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights and South Africa’s Blue Bulls.
“For Duco this has been a three-year journey filled with numerous challenges. Creating something new is never easy. It takes courage and vision. That this event has come together so spectacularly is a credit to everyone who has backed it,” Higgins said.
The tournament has received widespread support from rugby stars.
Highlanders captain Ben Smith said it’s a great way to hit the 2017 season running.
“We have lots of fans in Queensland and we can’t wait to get there and play in front of them and our travelling kiwi supporters with this awesome event.”
Former All Blacks centre and current Blues coach Tana Umaga, is excited.
“The tens will be a great addition to the rugby calendar. Tens is fast paced, with extra space, but plenty of room for big forwards as well, so in that way it sets it apart from 15s and sevens. There’s a lot of excitement in the team about this fresh new event. We expect it will be competitive and exciting to watch.”
St. George Queensland Reds’ fullback Karmichael Hunt said he is looking forward to playing in the Brisbane Global Tens and testing myself in this exciting form of the game. This is taking place on our home patch and in front our home fans, so the Reds will prepare thoroughly to put on the best possible show and be in the mix for the silverware.
It’s going to be a great tournament for the players from all of the clubs involved, as well as fans and the game in general. I’ve never played tens but it’s a pretty interesting concept and I’m looking forward to seeing how we go.”
Former Wallabies and Crusaders coach and current Panasonic Wild Knights coach Robbie Deans said: “You could argue that this will be the biggest gathering of world class rugby players in one city in the history of the game.
To gather all these teams together in one place is a remarkable achievement. I’m really looking forward to seeing how our boys stack up against the likes of Toulon. The timing is great as a lead-in to the 2017 season proper.
“Suncorp is the perfect venue for an event like this. Caxton Street will be buzzing. Tens involves a greater variety of players than sevens but will be faster than 15-a-side. The set pieces will be genuine contests and with only ten players on the field there is a lot more space to attack.
“It will be a festival of rugby and a fun event. There will be a lot of intrigue about how players and teams adapt - but most of all it will be a great spectacle.”
BRISBANE GLOBAL TENS - AT A GLANCE
• Ten Australian and New Zealand professional clubs and four elite invitational teams will compete (in 2017 the event will feature Toulon, the Bulls, Samoa and the Panasonic Wild Knights)
• Ten-players-per-side, ten-minutes-per-half, knockout tournament
• Culmination of a week-long festival of rugby
• 16 hours of compelling live rugby, featuring 28 matches played over two days
• Broadcast live across Australia, New Zealand, UK, Japan, Africa, France and
other major international markets
• Held annually on the second weekend of February, two weeks prior to the
start of the Super Rugby season, at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
• Launches the rugby season in Australia and New Zealand
• Sanctioned by the Australian Rugby Union and New Zealand Rugby