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2017 OHANA CUP RETURNS WITH HAWAII DEBUT OF AUSTRALIAN PROFESSIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE TEAMS

In a First for the Aloha State, the Ipswich Jets and Tweed Heads Seagulls Will Headline the Eighth Outback Ohana Cup Rugby League Event

HONOLULU – The excitement and adrenaline of International Rugby League returns to Hawaii on Friday, Oct. 13 with the first-ever appearance of two Australian professional Rugby League teams at the eighth Outback Ohana Cup. The headline battle between the Ipswich Jets and Tweed Heads Seagulls will mark the debut of professional Rugby League in Hawaii and the first time two elite-level Australian club teams have played against each other outside of Australasia.

The event is sanctioned by Australia’s Queensland Rugby League and will be historic, according to Head of Football Neil Wharton, who confirmed that until now, Intrust Super Cup clubs have only faced off in Australasia. Both headliners have won the prestigious Super Cup: the Jets in 2015 and the Seagulls in 2007.

“It’s great to see players from Australia Rugby League join local and international teams in the 2017 Outback Ohana Cup and contributing to the exchange of culture and sportsmanship in the Pacific," said Consul General Jeff Robinson, of the Australian Consulate-General in Honolulu. "Australians are passionate about their sport and with more Australians visiting Hawaii than ever before, we hope to see a large number of Aussie supporters come along on the day and experience the excitement of Rugby League in the Aloha State."

The 2017 Outback Ohana Cup will also feature Hawaii Rugby League teams the Chief's Luau Warriors and Chief's Luau Koa facing off against international competitors flying in for this exciting and historic event. New Zealand will be represented by the Ponsonby Rugby League Club, the oldest and most established Rugby League Club in the country, and Canada will be represented by the Canadian Travelers.

The daylong celebration of this fast-paced, full-contact sport is as follows:

3:00 p.m. - Gates open at Kaiser Stadium
4:00 p.m. – Chief’s Luau Warriors (Hawaii) vs Ponsonby Ponies (New Zealand)
6:00 p.m. – Chief’s Luau Koa (Hawaii) vs Canadian Travelers (Canada)
8:00 p.m. - Ipswich Jets (Australia) vs Tweed Head Seagulls (Australia)
11:00 p.m. - Post-Match Ceremony

All games will take place at Kaiser Stadium, 511 Lunalilo Home Road, in Hawaii Kai. Ample free parking is available, with thousands of Hawaii and overseas rugby fans, and new-to-the-sport spectators expected to attend.

Kelly McGill of Grand Pacific Events noted that “it’s truly an exciting time to be a rugby fan. Even if you don’t know a thing about this sport, you can come down with your friends, family, or kids and enjoy the action and incredible athleticism of some of the world’s best Rugby League players.”

Tickets are now available at ohanacup.com and are priced at:

Pre-Sale Tickets:
•    General admission - $15
•    Kids, Military, Students - $10

Tickets purchased on game day are:
•    General admission -  $20
•    Kids, Military, Students: $15

A portion of the Outback Ohana Cup proceeds will benefit the R.E.A.C.H (Resources for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture, and Health) after-school program established by Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui for intermediate school students, and Kaiser High School.

As part of its community support initiatives, Rugby League teams will also host training clinics at Kaiser High School, allowing local students to discover the game directly from world-class professional athletes.

For more information visit ohanacup.com.

About the Ohana Cup
The Ohana Cup is hosted by the Hawaiian Rugby League and has been conducted in Hawaii since 2012. The Cup has grown in stature each year and featured seven Rugby League International Federation (RLIF)-sanctioned tests. The 2017 event is sponsored by Outback Steakhouse, Foster's, Hawaii Volcanic Beverages, and Chief's Luau, and is produced by Grand Pacific Events and the Harris Agency.

About the Queensland Rugby League (QRL)
The QRL is the governing body of Rugby League in Queensland. The QRL looks after more than 40,000 registered juniors and 15,000 registered seniors and it has exciting representative and competitions, providing the platform for talented players to progress through to Intrust Super Cup and National Rugby League clubs. Queensland is the home of the Brisbane Broncos the biggest brand in Australian club sport and the winner of 11 of the last 12 State of Origin Series; the premier event in world Rugby League.

About Grand Pacific Events
Grand Pacific Events creates sporting opportunities for international rugby competition in Hawaii in addition to providing venues and occasions for enthusiasts to watch the sport live and in person. We specialize in the management, logistics and promotion of Premier Rugby events in Hawaii. For more information please contact Kelly McGill at (808) 392-8454; by email at president.grandpacificresources@gmail.com or Facebook at facebook.com/GrandPacificEvents.

About the Harris Agency
The Harris Agency is one of Hawaii's largest full-service marketing agencies, working with category brand leaders in a broad range of industries. The agency is known for its expertise in advertising, branding, communications and digital services. For more information, visit harris-agency.com.

Contacts
Ellise Fujii
The Harris Agency
ellisef@harris-agency.com
(808) 358-5400

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