Illawarra Rugby Union president Peter Woods is hopeful the arrival of Super Rugby in Wollongong will lead to further investment in the region by the game's power brokers.
It was announced on Tuesday the Waratahs will take on the Chiefs at WIN Stadium in March, the first time an official professional rugby union match has been played in the Illawarra.
The game comes as NSW Rugby Union attempts to dispel the notion the organisation is too Sydney-centric, with a Waratahs match set to be played in Newcastle for the second-straight year in 2020.
With other sporting codes moving into Wollongong and player numbers dwindling, the Illawarra Rugby Union has attempted to reach out for more support from the code's governing bodies.
Woods lamented the lack of support Illawarra Rugby has received, however the hope is the arrival of the code's biggest stars will trigger a renewed push from NSW Rugby Union to grow the game.
"It's a wonderful thing for Wollongong and the Illawarra," Woods said. "It's a long time coming.
"It's very good that NSW Rugby are going to put a game in the Illawarra, but as far as resources go, there was always room for greater movement.
"This is a step in the right direction and hopefully it can be built on in all regions of NSW."
The announcement comes in a bumper week for rugby in Wollongong, with WIN Stadium set to play host to Illawarra Rugby Grand Final day as well as a National Rugby Championship match between NSW Country and the Fijian Drua.
The matches in Wollongong and Newcastle come as the Waratahs prepare for their second-straight season without a permanent home ground, NSW displaced by the demolition of the Sydney Football Stadium.
The team will spread their remaining games around Sydney, with Bankwest Stadium and a number of still-to-be-determined venues to host the Waratahs in 2020.
NSW Rugby CEO Andrew Hore said the organisation was hoping to make the most of this opportunity to take games to a range of venues.
"We're a bush to beach organisation and as much as we value and appreciate the work of the NSW Government and the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust in building a new stadium for the [NSW] Waratahs, it gives us a great opportunity," Hore said.
"Last year [2019 season] time frames were against us in terms of spreading our wings as far as we'd like, we're really excited about the opportunity to further that in 2020.
"With the Sydney Football Stadium and ANZ Stadium unavailable the options are limited in a busy sporting landscape in Sydney, particularly when we want to ensure certain standards for our members and fans, as well as meet SANZAAR requirements.
"The fan experience and playing facilities at McDonald Jones Stadium, WIN Stadium and Bankwest are fantastic and we're happy with the mix of venues we've been able to secure so far."
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