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OZ12 State of Origin Tour

BY: buffalo / 0 COMMENTS / CATEGORY: event

OZ12 State of Origin Tour

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State of Origin Supporters tour

For the first time, Howes Etc, Rugby League’s leading event management company, and sports travel specialists Traveleads, staged a four-week State of Origin supporters tour.

OZ12 encompassed the second 2012 Origin spectacular in Sydney and the third and deciding Brisbane clash – rated the best ever.

Sandwiched inside the three weeks between Origin fixtures was attendance at eight NRL fixtures, invites to watch Origin and club training sessions, exclusive meetings with players and coaches and a few days of sunbathing and sightseeing in Cairns.

OZ12 was the fourth supporters tour Down Under staged by the partnership of Howes Etc and Traveleads.

OZ06 followed Great Britain on the 2006 Tri-Nations in Australia and New Zealand, OZ08 supported Great Britain in the 2008 World in Australia, while OZ10 backed England in the Four Nations in Australia and New Zealand.

A dozen UK Rugby League aficionados joined OZ12 for two, three and four week trips, led as usual by David Howes, Managing Director of Howes Etc and former Manager of England in the 2000 World Cup in England and Great Britain on the 1988 British Lions tour of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

The 10-match itinerary featured the second and third State of Origin encounters, St George Illawara Dragons v Canterbury Bulldogs, Cronulla Sharks v New Zealand Warriors, Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters, Manly v Melbourne Storm, St George Illwara Dragons v Gold Coast Titans, Penrith Panther v Parramatta Eels, Sydney Roosters v Manly and Brisbane Broncos v Cronulla Sharks.

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Other Rugby League personalities who joined the elite OZ12 tourists included Tim Sheens, Paul Langmack, Gavin Miller, Loti Tuquiri, Paul Sironen, Curtis Sironen, Ellery Hanley, Garry Schofield, Ryan Hoffman, Gareth Widdup, Chris Lawrence, Chris Heighington, John Dorahy, Peter Wynn, Graham Murray, Tonie Carroll, Adrian Vowles, Paul Charlton and Tony Rea.

Each of the NRL fixtures was extended into a day’s tour, visiting local attractions en route. Non-match days in Sydney featured organised trips to Parramatta and Doyles restaurant at Watson’s Bay. The week’s stay in Brisbane included days on the Sunshine Coast as far north as Noosa and the Gold Coast as far south as Tweeds Head.

Three full days in Cairns in North Queensland were highlighted by organised trips to the Rainforest, Kurunda, Green Island and an Aboriginal cultural evening.

Exclusive events included:

  • Invitation from Head Coach Mal Meninga to watch a private training session by Queensland at their Sunshine Coast resort hotel in the build up to the deciding Origin match
  • Preview to the second Origin match in Sydney at the famous Iceberg Club on Bondi Beach, presented by New South Wales assistant coaches Trent Barrett and Glenn Lazarus and hosted by NSW Chief Executive Geoff Carr
  • Matchday VIP hospitality in a private executive box at Leichart Oval courtesy of Wests Tigers Chairman Dave Trodden
  • Attendance at a Melbourne Storm matchday bonding session prior to their game at Manly
  • Visit to Concord Oval in Sydney for a Wests Tigers skills session led by Head Coach Tim Sheens
  • Invitation to join the Sydney Roosters club on their private cruise from Darling Harbour to Homebush for the Sydney State of Origin
  • Staging of a private drinks party organised by England and Wests Tigers star Gareth Ellis, attended by a host of Tigers players led by Benji Marshall, plus Luke Burgess from South Sydney Rabbitohs, former Leeds Rhinos packman Matt Adamson and Kangaroo legends Benny Elias and Steve Mortimer
  • Access to the Former Origin Greats fund-raising lunch at Suncorp Stadium on the eve of the third Origin match, attended by a host of ex-Queensland greats plus the 2012 coaching team
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