Premier Peter Beattie said Queensland was the new capital of international rugby league following the announcement that Queensland will host the 2008 Rugby League World Cup Final on 22 November - the showpiece event of the tournament.

Mr Beattie said Queenslanders had been rewarded for their loyalty to the code with several major matches, including the Final, to be played in Queensland.

"The ARL has made a commitment to the people of Queensland by deciding to anchor this tournament in the Smart State," he said.

"They have recognised Queensland offers quality stadia (Suncorp Stadium, Dairy Farmers Stadium and Skilled Park) and most importantly have repaid fans for their ongoing support at all levels of the game.

"I commend the ARL on making the right decision."

"As well as the Final at Suncorp Stadium on November 22 we will also host:

  • A semi-final at Suncorp Stadium on the 15th of November, 2008;
  • A major pool match at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville on the 9th of November, 2008;
  • A major pool match at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast on the 1st of November, 2008; and
  • A pool match at a yet to be determined regional centre on 11th of November, 2008.

"In addition, as part of our negotiations, we have also managed to secure an exciting schedule of State of Origin games and Rugby League International Test matches until 2012," he said.

"It is terrific news for Queensland. It is estimated that more than 8,000 international tourists will travel to Australia to watch the tournament.

"For the Cup final alone, an economic impact similar to last year's Bledisloe Cup clash - estimated at $17 million - is expected.

"Fans will come for the game, stay for a holiday and the whole State will benefit. It will mean jobs and a business bonanza in accommodation, business services, transport, retail and trade sectors. That's not to mention the fact we will be seen by millions of television viewers around the world."

19 April, 2007

Further inquiries: Premier's Office: 3224 4500