Beattie slams MCG rugby plan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Beattie slams MCG rugby plan

By Adam Cooper and Wayne Heming 04/02/2004 07:44:17 PM Comments (0)

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has told Victoria to "nick off" and not even think about poaching the Rugby World Cup final rematch between Australia and England from Brisbane.

In his final week of campaigning Mr Beattie said he expected the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) to stick with Queensland and invited the Victorian Premier to come and watch the game at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.

The Victorian Major Events company approached the ARU in the hope of having Jonny Wilkinson and his England teammates play the Wallabies at the MCG on Saturday, June 26.

But when the proposal was put to Beattie, he said Victoria "can nick off".

"I think (Victorian Premier) Steve Bracks would enjoy a visit to Queensland to watch the rugby," he said.

"We were given an understanding by the Australian Rugby Union that Queensland would be looked after in terms of internationals.

"Everyone accepts Suncorp Stadium is the best stadium in the world and I think it is very important that Steve Bracks comes and has a look at it.

"We expect the ARU to stick with us and we have every confidence the game will be played at Suncorp Stadium."

The MCG is free of AFL matches on the weekend of June 26-27 as 14 of the 16 clubs take the mid-season break, with Collingwood and Sydney playing at Sydney's Telstra Stadium.

The Melbourne Cricket Club has also advised the ARU the MCG will be vacant.

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