Thursday, 10 May 2012
Front row left to right: Harry Jepson OBE (Leeds Rugby), Lord Mayor of Leeds Rev Alan Taylor, Scott Carter (RLIF), Gary Hetherington (Leeds Rugby)
Back row left to right: Tiziano Franchini (Italy), John Bishop (NZ), Daniele Veronese (Italy)
From left to right: Jamie Jones Buchanan (Leeds Rhinos), Francesco Mazzella (Casa Mia), Gip Dammone (Salvos), Daniele Veronese (Italy), Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos)
Rugby League World Cup host city Leeds welcomed delegates from the nations that will be coming to the city in 2013 last Friday (4 May).
Delegates from the national sides of New Zealand, Italy and Papua New Guinea were in town for planning meetings and venue visits.
Leeds Rhinos hosted a lunch for delegates from the New Zealand and Italian Rugby Leagues at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. Headingley hosted the first ever rugby league test match on 25 January 1908 between the New Zealand All Golds and the Northern Union, and will host the world champion’s clash with Papua New Guinea in next year's tournament as well as a quarter final game.
Chairman of the Rugby League International Federation Scott Carter, and New Zealand Rugby League board member John Bishop were joined by Daniele Veronese and Tiziano Franchini from the Italian Rugby League for the event. The Lord Mayor of Leeds, members of Leeds City Council and the Rugby Football League along with Barry Eaton from Hunslet Hawks and Gary Hetherington and Kevin Sinfield from Leeds Rhinos were there to officially welcome them to the city.
The Italian delegates also visited the Marriot Hotel in Leeds, where their national team will be based during the world cup, and checked in with local Italian businesses Casa Mia and Salvos.
John Numapo and Ivan Ravu from the Papua New Guinea Rugby League also visited Headingley Carnegie for a tour of the facilities later in the day.
Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive member for leisure and chair of the Leeds World Cup Consortium said:
“We were delighted to welcome the delegates to Leeds and share with them our city’s passion for rugby league.
“The 2013 Rugby League World Cup is really important to us, and these visits are the beginning of what I’m sure will be an exciting journey for us. We have the facilities, stadium, community spirit and passion for rugby league that is needed to really embrace the occasion and make it a truly great event for the entire city.
“We want New Zealand and Italy to feel at home whilst they are here, and I know that the people and businesses of Leeds will welcome them with open arms, and really get behind what is shaping up to be the best rugby league world cup ever.“
Gary Hetherington, chief executive of Leeds Rugby said:
“We were delighted to welcome the delegations from New Zealand, Italy and Papua New Guinea to Headingley Carnegie. We are very proud to be a host venue for 2013 Rugby League World Cup and in particular to be hosting the world champions, New Zealand.”
All the latest news about the Rugby League World Cup 2013 can be found on Twitter at @RLWC2013 and Facebook on the Rugby League World Cup 2013 page.
Leeds was confirmed in November 2011 as a host town/city for Rugby League World Cup 2013, and was one of only four bids to be considered ‘outstanding’. The 14-team tournament will be hosted by England and Wales with games also in France and Ireland.
More than 500,000 spectators are expected to attend the 28 matches with a further 20 million people watching on TV around the world.
For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Posted by Leeds City Council press office at 09:40