By HARRY CLARKE
THE highest standard of rugby union ever seen on the Warrego Highway will headline the inaugural Festival of Rugby in Roma on Saturday night, when the Queensland Reds take on the NSW Waratahs at the home ground of the Roma Echidnas.
The Festival of Rugby is an evolution of the longstanding Roma Rugby 7s tournament, which welcomes roughly 40 teams from across Queensland for a social competition.
This year the event, sponsored by coal seam gas company Santos, has $25,000 in prize money up for grabs and will also host a preseason trial game between the Reds and the Waratahs.
Big names in Australian rugby, past and present, are in Roma for the tournament. Guest speaker at the “Echidnas Long Lunch” on Friday was Wallabies coach David Rennie while MC for the weekend is Australian rugby great Tim Horan.
Current rugby stars taking the field tonight include Wallabies players James O’Connor, Jordan Petaia and Taniela Tupou.
Below is a gallery of social photos from the first day of the Festival of Rugby. Follow the Country Caller for more coverage of the event.