IT’S the game-day shield that REALLY is a Shield . . . and after a week of preparations on the NSW South Coast, famous British clubs Wigan Warriors and Hull FC are ready for their historic Round 2 Super League clash at WIN Stadium, Wollongong, on Saturday.
The two teams will be competing for the Kenny Sterling Shield, named after legendary Australian and Parramatta Eels’ stars Brett Kenny and Peter Sterling who played with Wigan and Hull respectively in the ‘80s.
Hand carved by local indigenous artist, Noel Butler, uncle of former NRL star Preston Campbell, the Kenny Sterling Shield is a stunning design that includes an adaptation of the historic image from the 1985 Challenge Cup Final featuring Kenny and Sterling and animal carvings significant to the local indigenous communities. The NSW South Coast region has a rich Aboriginal culture and heritage.
Rival captains Danny Houghton (Hull FC, left) and Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan, right) were pictured with the amazing Shield at the top of Mt. Keira overlooking Wollongong city in the countdown to Saturday’s game.
Wigan Warriors v Hull FC is the first Super League game played outside Europe and is on track for a sell-out crowd in excess of 20,000.
The British Super League clubs will bring their game-day atmosphere and excitement to WIN Stadium.
As many as 6,000 visitors are anticipated in the Wollongong/South Coast region for both the game and a series of community events involving players from the Super League clubs and key Wollongong and South Coast community groups.
A fund-raising luncheon for Brett Kenny and his family will be held in Wollongong on Friday.
The Wigan and Hull squads will move to Sydney after Saturday night’s Super League game and in preparation for the International Double-Header at Stadium Australia on Saturday 17 February.
The St George Illawarra Dragons will host Hull FC (5:30pm kick-off) before the South Sydney Rabbitohs host Wigan Warriors (kick-off 7:45pm)
Wigan and Hull with conduct open training sessions in Sydney and the two teams will be presented to the community at Darling Harbour on Friday 16 February.
SUPER LEAGUE GAME
Wigan Warriors v Hull FC
Saturday 10 February, 7:45pm
INTERNATIONAL DOUBLE HEADER
Hull FC v St George Illawarra Dragons
Saturday 17 February, 5:45pm
Wigan Warriors v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Saturday 17 February, 7:45pm