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Gay rugby teams to make history in Australia

Gay rugby teams to make history in Australia

History will be made on 20 February when the Melbourne Chargers and Sydney Convicts do battle in a curtain raiser to a Super Rugby league match.

It will be the first time that two gay rugby teams compete as part of a professional sporting event. And it is only the third time in the history of world sports that even one gay team has been invited to play a curtain raiser ahead of a professional game.

Victorian sports minister John Eren said the state government supported the initiative.

‘Today’s announcement of a history-making curtain raiser is wonderful news,’ he said.

‘Australian Rugby and the Rebels have committed a lot of energy in promoting the inclusiveness of the game, and the Melbourne Chargers are wonderful ambassadors for our state.’

The match will be a replay of the 2014 gay rugby world championships final in Sydney, when the Convicts walked away with the Bingham Cup.

In August 2013, the Australian Rugby Union became the first major Australian sporting code to commit to developing an inclusion policy, designed to stamp out all forms of discrimination and homophobia.