James Hird's Essendon are a regular on Anzac Day, while Kevin Sheedy's Giants want a piece of the action. The pair are pictured at the War Memorial in Canberra in 2013. Photo: Melissa Adams
A snoozing SANZAR could have the Canberra Anzac Day rug pulled out from underneath it as the ACT Government is lobbying the AFL for a Greater Western Sydney clash at Manuka Oval for Gallipoli's 100th anniversary next year.
Sports Minister Andrew Barr said the government wanted an Anzac Day fixture to be one of the Giants' three home-and-away clashes for next year as part of the $23 million, 10-year deal to have GWS playing in Canberra.
The ACT Brumbies are trying to hold an annual Anzac clash against a New Zealand side at Canberra Stadium, but Super Rugby's controlling body SANZAR has not given the two-time champions any guarantee.
It means the Giants could steal the Anzac Day thunder, giving Canberrans a taste of the excitement of the yearly MCG blockbuster between Essendon and Collingwood.
If the Giants do come to Canberra on Australia's historic day, there'll be no repeat of the anthem debacle that has marred the Brumbies' build-up for Friday's clash with the Waikato Chiefs after SANZAR banned them from being played before the game.
The Australian anthem will be played before the AFL's three games this Anzac Day, as well as games on the Gold Coast and in Adelaide at the weekend.
Barr was pushing for the Giants to experience the day of remembrance for the first time at Manuka.
"We're engaged in conversations with the Giants and the AFL around an Anzac Day fixture for Canberra," he said. "We're looking at some possibilities there and we'll keep those discussions going.
"The time slots could work for Canberra, Melbourne, New Zealand ... you can almost run an afternoon of footy there.
"That's something we're very keen to pursue, we've had some preliminary discussions, put the idea on the table and the Giants are keen. The AFL are keen to generate some more iconic events outside of Melbourne."
The Giants have twice played in Canberra on the Anzac Day weekend, but not on the actual day. They lost to the Western Bulldogs at Manuka on April 28 in 2012, their first year in the AFL, then the Gold Coast beat them last year.
GWS backed the push to bring an Anzac blockbuster to the nation's capital.
"We are supportive of the proposal to play a match in Canberra on the Anzac Day weekend next year and will work with the AFL and the ACT Government to bring this to fruition," a spokesperson said.
Barr said having the Australian War Memorial in the nation's capital gave them a natural leverage for events in the year of Gallipoli's 100th anniversary.
He said a return of Australian Rugby League's Anzac Test between the Kangaroos and New Zealand was unlikely next year, but said Canberra was in the mix to host the fixture again in the future.
However, the sold-out netball Test between the Diamonds and Silver Ferns as part of Canberra's centenary was a chance of being repeated next year, he said.
"Following the success of the netball Test we've got more international netball on the agenda," Barr said.
"Basketball as well, we want to keep that opportunity there."
With the Lyneham tennis centre expected to be completed early next year, there are also plans to bring Davis Cup or Fed Cup fixtures to Canberra.