Dragons fans celebrate during the Round 3 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the St George-Illawarra Dragons at Clive Berghofer Stadium in Toowoomba, Queensland, Sunday, March 25, 2018. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dragons fans celebrate during the Round 3 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the St George-Illawarra Dragons at Clive Berghofer Stadium in Toowoomba, Queensland, Sunday, March 25, 2018. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Mayor ready to welcome NRL back to Toowoomba

THE Toowoomba Regional Council is ready to welcome top-grade rugby league to the region if the NRL decides to follow the AFL and relocate to Queensland.

Mayor Paul Antonio said he was excited by the prospect of seeing NRL hosted in the Garden City, two years after the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Gold Coast Titans packed out Clive Berghofer Stadium for a rare regional match.

With the threat of more border shutdowns looming as the second wave of COVID-19 continues, Cr Antonio said the council would do whatever it could to make sure Toowoomba enjoyed a share of the action.

"I think that would be amazing," he said.

"You can't forget the role Toowoomba rugby league has played historically in Australia - there was a time when we were the biggest breeding ground of Kangaroos.

"We're ready and waiting at this point of time.

"When you host an NRL game, don't underestimate the value of the publicity it generates."

TRC environment and community chair Cr James O'Shea said the city was well-placed to host an NRL team.

"We obviously have the facilities and we have an airport to fly people in and out," he said.

"I think there would be the possibility, but it's just the public safety issue that would need to be of paramount importance.

"Toowoomba has a rich rugby league history."

The AFL last week moved all games to Queensland and Western Australia as Victoria continued to be hit hard by the pandemic.

COVID-19 hot spots have also been identified in NSW.



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