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.
Fly-half Billy Burns was named Man of the Match after the 35-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup victory over Stade Rochelais on Thursday evening, and was full of praise for all his team mates for the win after a short turnaround.
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
Gloucester's much changed side had to overcome conceding an early try on Thursday evening, but responded in style to down Stade Rochelais by 35 points to 14 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and set up a mouthwatering return fixture next weekend.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.