Despite many letters from Rugby fans not wanting their sport to be sponsored by a fossil fuel company, the NSW Waratahs have signed Santos Ltd, as a platinum partner for the next three seasons.
The news comes following the announcement of Santos’ support of the upcoming Santos Festival of Rugby in Narrabri from Wednesday 3 February to Saturday 6 February. The NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds will face off as part of Super Rugby AU pre-season match at 8pm local-time on Friday 5 February.
Also a three-day selection and preparation tournament has been organised by Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach, Tim Walsh, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Australian squad players will line-up against squads from Queensland and New South Wales as well as representatives from an ‘Australia Pacific’ sevens team.
During the Festival, junior coaching clinics, supported by the Classic Wallabies, will ensure all the Rugby community are engaged across the festival.
In addition, Wallabies and Queensland legend and Santos Ambassador, Tim Horan, will host a Rugby-themed Long Lunch in Narrabri, and there will be live entertainment across the weekend.
Santos has long been a supporter of grassroots rugby teams and competitions in regions such as Maranoa, Gladstone and Narrabri where communities are divided about the benefits of coal seam gas extraction and processing.
Santos is the third top fossil fuel political donor in Australia and yet according to independent journalist Michael West, the annual Transparency Report, released in December 2020, revealed Santos’ disclosed income was $4.3 billion and the company paid zero tax.