by Anton Rose
THE NRL has confirmed that for the first time in its history a NRL regular season game will be played in Toowoomba.
A statement released by the NRL this afternoon announced that the Gold Coast Titans would be the team travelling up the Range to play a game next season, confirming the Garden City was among a host of other regional centres to host a NRL fixture in 2018.
"Premiership matches will be held in Mudgee, Tamworth, Bathurst and Gosford next year, as well as Gladstone, Toowoomba and Cairns," the statement read.
"It means the 2018 season will include the most number of regional locations in NSW and Queensland in the history of the NRL Premiership.
"Gold Coast Titans will take two matches to regional centres (Gladstone and Toowoomba)."
The news means that former Brothers Toowoomba junior, and break-out Titans rookie half-back Ashley Taylor, will return to the city where he honed his skills as a youth.
Taylor's homecoming will likely draw thousands to the marquee game, as he prepares to run out as a NRL star on the same pitch where he learned his craft as a junior.
While there is yet to be confirmation as to which sporting venue will host the mammoth tie, Clive Berghofer Stadium seems to be the likely choice given its size.
The stadium has a capacity of 9000 and has hosted some of the biggest sporting events in Toowoomba's history.
"We have said for some time it was our strong desire to take more games to regional venues in 2018, and we're extremely happy to have been able to do that as part of the new schedule," NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.
"I want to thank the clubs involved for working with us on delivering this positive result for the game in regional areas but also the local councils, community groups and our government partners for being so enthusiastic about hosting rugby league matches.
"It will be great to see so many people in regional areas being able to witness the best of rugby league up close in 2018."