Gloucester Rugby Managing Director Ken Nottage today spoke of the buzz of excitement that is sweeping around Kingsholm following the announcement earlier this week that the Qantas Wallablies will be playing Gloucester in November.
On Monday, Gloucester Rugby were delighted to announce that they will be writing the next chapter in the club's illustrious history this autumn with a fixture against the touring Qantas Wallabies.
The fixture is scheduled for 7:45pm on the evening of Tuesday November 3rd and forms part of the Qantas Wallabies autumn programme which kicks off with a fixture in Tokyo against the All Blacks.
Australia then travel to the UK to take on Gloucester and follow up with fixtures against England (Twickenham, Nov 7th), Ireland (Croke Park, Nov 15th), Scotland (Murrayfield, Nov 21st) and Wales (Millennium Stadium, Nov 28th).
Although the Australian national side has played at Kingsholm before (against Gloucestershire and also against the South West), it will be the first time that they have taken on Gloucester Rugby.
And the fixture is already whetting public appetite according to Nottage:
"Tickets have only been on sale a week and initially to season ticket holders only but the ticket office has been a hive of activity."
"Once the tickets go on general sale on the internet over the weekend and in person next week, I think things will really take off."
Nottage went on to explain why this occasion is so important to the club:
"We really want to establish Kingsholm as a venue capable of hosting the very biggest games. We've already staged a European Challenge Cup final, England U20 internationals and also the Barbarians vs Ireland."
"We're also one of only two rugby dedicated stadiums set to host games in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. And we want to host more of these events, to make it the norm rather than the exception."
Finally, the MD stressed how much the game means to the first team squad as well:
"We're fortunate that we have a number of internationals in our squad. But there are some players, faithful club servants, who for one reason or another have not quite made the breakthrough at international level."
"The chance to play against the Wallabies is incredibly important to them as it also is for our younger players."
"It's a fixture that captures everyone's imagination."
Tickets will go on general release for internet sale only on the club website at www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk over the weekend of Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th and will then also be available from the club ticket office and over the phone (0871 871 8781 option 2*) from 9am on Monday October 5th.
* Calls to this number will cost 10 pence per minute from BT landlines, calls from other networks and mobiles may vary.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.
After a tense opening half hour in Parma, the game turned just before half time as the home team had David Odiete red carded and Gloucester took full advantage, running in three second half tries to secure the bonus point and the victory over Zebre by 32 points to 16.