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Highlanders to host trans-Tasman Super Rugby match at picturesque Queenstown venue

Queenstown can expect another boost in tourist numbers later this month with the Highlanders confirming they will host the Rebels in the southern city in round three.

Players warm up before a Super 14 match between the Highlanders and the Chiefs in Queenstown in 2007. Source: Photosport

The Highlanders confirmed this afternoon they will play the Sunday May 30 game, scheduled for a 2:35pm kickoff, at the picturesque Sir John Davies Oval.

It will be the first time the Highlanders have played at the venue - which is nestled in the foothills of The Remarkables mountain range - since 2010.

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said he hopes the afternoon game will attract a big crowd.

“Hopefully, Sunday afternoon will mean the least disruption to sporting and other weekend activities in the local area,” Clark said.

“Those from outside the region will be able to make a weekend of it, spend some quality time in Queenstown, and watch a Super Rugby game as well.”

Clark added added he hoped taking the game to Queenstown will help the city as it continues to recover financially from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We appreciate the pandemic has made it a very tough 12 months for Queenstown,” he said.

“This game provided us with our first real opportunity to assist, in a tangible way, a very important part of our region.”

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult is looking forward to the match and the potential visitors it attracts.

“Events will play a crucial part in the district’s Covid-19 recovery. They provide benefits to a large proportion of our community both directly and indirectly, and attract regional and, in this case, trans-Tasman visitors.

"To be able to offer a great venue for Super Rugby is something we want to build on and welcoming the Highlanders to Queenstown will be a real treat for local fans," Boult said.

“Personally, as an avid rugby and Highlanders fan, I’m delighted and cannot wait to be at the game. I congratulate and thank Highlanders’ management for this initiative and hope it is a forerunner for regular games here. I am sure the district will turnout in large numbers, to show their support.”

Tickets for the game be available from Ticketek outlets from 9am this Friday but all primary and intermediate school children will be allowed to attend free.