WEST HAM UTD FC v CRYSTAL PALACE FC
I reckon we’re going to see more than a few cloth caps and scarves and hear plenty of London accents at Suncorp Stadium on July 18. In what will be the greatest exhibition of English Premier League football ever seen in Australia, EPL sides West Ham and Crystal Palace will go head to head in Brisbane in the crowning fixture of the EVA Air Queensland Champions Cup. While local fans have been lucky enough to see famous clubs like Liverpool and Everton take on the Roar in the past, this will be the first time two EPL sides have played each other in a legitimate tournament. And while the stands are sure to be packed with sports fans from all over Queensland and the rest of Australia, don’t be surprised to see a major influx of Londoners jet in just to see their beloved teams in action. There’s no more committed fan on the planet than an English football fan, and Londoners are in a class of their own as they sing, chant, cheer and moan from kick-off to fulltime. With The Hammers coming from the city’s east and Palace from the south, the atmosphere will be unlike anything that Suncorp Stadium patrons have ever experienced. I reckon no matter what code of football you call your own, this will be a night that those lucky enough to attend will never forget. What do YOU reckon?
REDS v SUNWOLVES
I reckon the star attraction of Saturday’s Super Rugby showdown between the Reds and Sunwolves at Suncorp Stadium won’t be a Wallaby or Brave Blossom. In fact, in this country anyway, he’s better known for playing rugby league than rugby union. He’s Ben Te’o, who in 75 games for the Broncos and seven Origin matches for Queensland carved out a reputation as one of the hardest-working and most popular players in the State. He also earned cult status at South Sydney as starting back-rower in the Rabbitohs’ historic 2014 NRL grand final win. But if Te’o is well-known in local rugby league circles he is just as respected overseas for his second career in the 15-a-side game. Signing first with Leinster, then Worcester and top French club Toulon, by virtue of his English mother he was eligible for immediate England selection and Eddie Jones played him in the centres for 16 Tests. He even earned the ultimate rugby honour when he toured New Zealand with the Irish and British Lions. At 33 he is playing out his career with the Japanese Super Rugby franchise and I reckon it will be fascinating to see him in action against the young Reds. What do YOU reckon?