In preparation for the opening Bledisloe Cup Test, Sydney will come alive withThe Bledisloe Cup Festival. The Bledisloe Cup Festival will provide fans of all ages with a number of events to celebrate one of the world's most iconic sporting contests. Passionate supporters right across country NSW and Sydney will come together to celebrate all things rugby with a week-long program of community, corporate and social events that will continue right through to match day when the Qantas Wallabies tackle the All Blacks.
Rugby on the big screen
For any sports fan that misses out on the opportunity to watch the game live at ANZ Stadium they won't miss out entirely, with many of Sydney's fantastic bars and pubs getting into the rugby action.
Visit Cargo Bar at King Street Wharf to catch the game on the huge harbourside screen, and grab a schooner in the waterfront beer garden. For an inner city sports bar, Bat and Ball in Redfern will be showing all the Bledisloe Cup matches live on large HD TVs.
The upstairs lounge bar of the Harlequinn Inn in Pyrmont will be home to many rugby fans during the Bledisloe Cup Test, to enjoy the game at what is considered one of Sydney's finest rugby pubs. The Light Brigade, long regarded as an Eastern Suburbs institution, will be showing all the games on their massive plasma TV screens.
Where to stay to be amongst the rugby action
When the rugby hits town, fans will want to be close to all the action. ThePullman at Sydney Olympic Park is stylish and chic and the only 5-star hotel located in the Greater Sydney area. Positioned directly in the centre of the entertainment, business and exhibitions hub, the hotel is just minutes away from ANZ Stadium.
Located in the heart of the sports precinct, Ibis Sydney Olympic Park is the perfect option for families travelling to watch the game. The hotel features 144 modern guest rooms sharing the facilities with the adjacent Novotel Sydney Olympic Park.
The Rocks is a uniquely historical Australian quarter so stay right in and amongst the action at Holiday Inn Old Sydney. With restaurants located in some of the oldest surviving buildings in Sydney the location is an unforgettable Sydney experience. Set streets back from Sydney Harbour, the property is a short stroll from the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
For rugby fans who prefer the city life, the QT Hotel, situated in the restored Gowings and State Theatre buildings in Sydney's CBD, features 200 sumptuous guest suites with quirky design, luxurious bedding and an indulgent oversized soaking tub.
Or for those wanting knock-out Sydney Harbour views alongside their rugby viewing, the luxury Four Seasons Hotel Sydney overlooks Sydney Harbour with views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Offering stylish guest rooms and suites, the hotel has recently launched a new street-front bar, Grain, and restaurant, The Woods serving fantastic local produce.
A city that loves Rugby
Get your rugby fix on at The Rugby Club, an iconic establishment that is home to some of the finest collection of rugby memorabilia in the world. Lovers of rugby can come together to share a meal have a drink, banter and watch the game live!
Qantas Wallaby player, Tatafu Polota-Nau shares some insights in his favourite things to do and places to visit in Sydney when he's not training:
1. Best Rugby ground in Sydney?
Allianz Stadium. Really great atmosphere created there and it's a fortress for home teams.
2. What is your favourite activity to do in Sydney on a day off?
My favourite activity on a day off would be to take my stand-up paddleboard and catch some waves in the northern beaches.
3. Best thing about Sydney?
The cultural diversity in Sydney and being a massive lover of food, experiencing different foods is also right up there for me.
4. Most memorable dining venue in Sydney?
Would be along the pier at Woolloomooloo facing the sky risers, particularly with a full moon as the backdrop. You can't go wrong!
5. Where do you go for a night out?
I prefer sticking to the old school pubs around The Rocks or anywhere around Surry Hills. They must have a jukebox with 80s music or else I'm out of there.
6. Favourite beach in Sydney?
It would no doubt be Freshwater. Nice and compact but also great for the stand-up paddleboard.
7. What was the first Rugby field you played on?
Granville Park... It's a great field, particularly for heckling the opposition!
8. What is Sydney's best kept food secret?
Sydney's best kept food secret is a little Japanese restaurant in Haymarket where they make my favourite traditional Japanese dish. I can't tell you the name of the restaurant or else it wouldn't be a secret!
In preparation for the opening Bledisloe Cup Test of 2014, supporters will be treated to a series of exciting rugby fan events taking place throughout the Bledisloe Cup Festival across both NSW and Sydney.
Bledisloe Cup Festival Events:
4th – 8th August
Follow the Qantas Wallabies as they embark on a five-day regional NSW road trip starting in Dubbo and travelling through Orange, Bathurst and finishing up in Penrith. Fans can get up close to the Bledisloe Cup trophy and meet their heroes as they take part in open training sessions.
Enjoy a day of racing at the newly refurbished Randwick Racecourse and experience Bledisloe Cup fever at the races as jockeys and horses celebrate the iconic trans-Tasman rivalry in a sea of gold and black. Bledisloe Cup Sydney Test ticket holders can enjoy complimentary entry to the races as part of the festival.
The harbourside precinct of First Fleet Park and the MCA's lawn will be transformed into 'Bledisloe Bay', a rugby fan zone dedicated to the Bledisloe Cup. Fans will have the chance to get up close to some of their favourite Qantas Wallabies players, pose with the Bledisloe Cup trophy and enjoy a rugby skills and drills workshop. Supporters will have the opportunity to win match tickets, and merchandise packs throughout the day.
The Bledisloe Cup Women in Business & Sport Leaders Luncheon
One of the key networking events in Bledisloe Cup Festival calendar, the event celebrates female business and sporting leaders of Australia and New Zealand and the important role they play in the sport and business community.
Come along to watch some of the greatest ever Wallabies test their golf skills and patience in the annual Classic Wallaby Corporate Golf Day. Taking place at one of Australia's oldest golf clubs, the newly refurbished Manly Golf Club will play host to some of Australia's Classic Wallabies as they attempt a hole-in-one.
For more information on the Bledisloe Cup Festival in Sydney, visitwww.rugby.com.au/bledisloecupfestival
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