Rugby league fans craving to see the sport being played at the iconic Jubilee Park in Whangārei will have to wait a little longer.
The Warriors U18 and the Auckland rugby league U16 teams are set to play matches against a Northland rugby league selection side at the park next weekend but the games have been shifted to the Tikipunga Sports Park.
Chairman of the Whangārei City and Districts Rugby League (FCDRL) Riki Shelford said health and safety concerns and a lack of time to prepare Jubilee Park were behind the change of plan.
The former Northland rugby league forward is among a new crop of administrators who took charge of FCDRL late last year. They've been working tirelessly to spruce up the Whangārei-based park to get it ready for matches and other events.
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The new committee is restoring the ground, which has not been used for more than a decade and has provided an ideal refuge for the homeless and a target for arsonists, to its former glory and to improve the premier rugby league competition.
Kiwis and Warriors legend Adam Blair will be part of two upcoming games next weekend.
Shelford's committee is putting together a plan for fans to meet the players at Jubilee Park prior to the games in Tikipunga.
The Warriors U18 and Auckland U16 teams travel to Whangārei on Thursday and have a light training run and another a day later at the match venue. The public is invited to a meet-and-greet session on Friday.
the Auckland U16 play at midday and the Warriors U18 at 2pm.
FCDRL has formed a working bee that involves the general public to carry out work such as graffiti removal, cleaning up facilities like the toilets, mowing the lawn and general tidy-up at Jubilee Park.
Anyone wishing to help restore Jubilee Park can register their interest at email@example.com.