Known for producing world class athletes, Gippsland hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games will inspire the next generation of sport fans.
Gippsland is no stranger to hosting world-class events and has a long history of welcoming both athletes and spectators to its various sporting arenas.
The region is also known for producing world-class athletes across many sports, so, when the 2026 Commonwealth Games brings Rugby Sevens to Gippsland, it will continue to inspire sport lovers.
One of the most exciting forms of the game, Rugby Sevens matches take place on a full-size rugby pitch. As the name suggests, it’s contested by seven players per team instead of 15 and consists of just two seven-minute halves. It’s a shorter but faster and higher scoring game, compared to the traditional formats.
The Rugby Sevens will be played at Latrobe City Stadium, a facility in Morwell that’s the spiritual home of football in Gippsland. Melbourne Victory has also used it for A-League pre-season and W-League in-season games.
The Stadium recently received a $1.7 million upgrade to improve its pitches and lighting, with a synthetic pitch also installed and it will undergo further upgrades in preparation to host competition at Victoria 2026.
When the world’s best players descend on the Latrobe City Stadium, this will include the Australian women’s team who are the defending champions, after winning gold at Birmingham in 2022.
Latrobe City Council Mayor, Kellie O’Callaghan sees this as a great opportunity to boost the profile of Latrobe City and rugby and knows it will ignite new interest in the sport and showcase Gippsland.
“We are an active and sporting community, and we will absolutely get behind a big event with such experienced, skilled and well fielded teams” Cr O’Callaghan said.
“We’ve hosted rugby in the past, including the Melbourne Rebels, and certainly competition at that level is very well received.”
“Hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games will build on our reputation as the home of major sporting events in the east of the state.”
In addition to the Rugby Sevens, Gippsland is also set to host Women’s T20 Cricket, Badminton, Shooting and Para Shooting and Road Cycling at Victoria 2026.
With the Games’ strong commitment to legacy, Cr O’Callaghan said Council will work to ensure the community’s priorities continued to be the focus of the way this event is presented and in the benefits it delivers over the longer term.
“More broadly though, we will be working with the Games partners to ensure our priorities around local content and opportunities for local business are maximised.”