Rugby League World Cup Trophy Lands In Limerick

–       Ticketing arrangements for Ireland V Australia game are announced

–       Game to attract 20 million viewers worldwide, deliver EUR2M boost to local economy

The Rugby League World Cup trophy was put on display in Limerick today as tournament officials visited Thomond Park to announce the ticket selling arrangements for the Ireland and Australia group game in 2013.

The home of Munster Rugby will be the only Irish venue to host a match in next year’s tournament, which is being hosted by Wales and England. Thomond Park is amongst a list 20 tournament host venues, including Wembley Stadium in London, Old Trafford in Manchester, and Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The home of Munster Rugby will see Ireland play Australia in their Group A clash on Saturday, 9 November 2013, in front of an expected global TV audience of over 20 million viewers while the game is expected to deliver an additional €2 million in revenue for the area.  Australia are the tournament favourites having won the competition more times than any other country. Ireland’s other Group opponents will be England and Fiji.

Tickets for the game and all other Group matches will go on sale on Friday, 26 October from Ticketmaster.ie it was announced today.

Amongst those in attendance at the announcement was Aaron McCloskey, Irish rugby league player for St Helens RLFC in the Super League and the Montpellier Red Devils in the Elite One Championship, officials from the Rugby League World Cup Organising Committee, Rugby League Ireland, Shannon Development, Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau, Limerick Local Authorities and Limerick Chamber of Commerce.

Martin Johnston, Communications Manager for the Rugby League World Cup 2013, expressed his delighted that one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures in the group stages of the competition is being held in Ireland.

“This exciting fixture pits the Irish team against one of the best sides in international rugby league.  Rugby league football is one of the most popular sports in Australia and is the most watched sport on Australian television. Therefore, this game will be a wonderful showpiece for Irish rugby league and the city of Limerick. We are delighted to be able to facilitate this,” Mr. Johnston added.

Shannon Development and the Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau teamed up with Rugby League Ireland and Thomond Park in July 2011 to launch a successful bid for Limerick’s right to host a game in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Speaking about the potential of the event Dr. Vincent Cunnane, Chief Executive, Shannon Development said: “In the build up to the year of ‘The Gathering’, it has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to market our Region internationally and in particular to the Australian market. The Australian game in Thomond Park will be a key focus in the promotion of ‘The Gathering’ in Australia for 2013. We are confident that the event will attract additional visitors and generate extra spend in the Limerick area. We estimate it has the potential to deliver an additional €2 million in revenue for the area. Working with our partners in the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, we look forward to continuing our efforts to highlight the event to a national and international audience. We anticipate the spin-off benefits from the game will be felt for many years to come. We look forward to extending a warm Limerick welcome our Australian and Irish rugby fans.”

John Cantwell, Stadium Director in Thomond Park commented: “I am delighted to welcome RLWC 2013 to Thomond Park Stadium, an event that yet again demonstrates the international standard and status of the stadium. This event will deliver further positive publicity, visitor numbers and economic benefits to Limerick and the region.”

Speaking at today’s press conference, Mayor of Limerick Gerry McLoughlin said the selection of Thomond Park as Ireland’s only host venue for next year’s tournament was testament to Limerick’s international reputation as a sporting city.

“I wish to congratulate Shannon Development and the Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau who, along with Rugby League Ireland and Thomond Park, showed tremendous vision in securing such a high profile fixture. I believe that the sporting profile that Limerick has developed as European City of Sport for 2011 also played a central role in securing the right to host a game. With thousands of rugby supporters expected to descent on Shannonside next November, I have no doubt that the local economy will benefit greatly.”

The 2013 tournament will be contested by fourteen teams including Ireland Australia, England, New Zealand, Samoa, Wales, Fiji, France, Papua New Guinea, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Cook Islands, Italy and the United States. New Zealand are the defending champions, having defeated Australia in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup final. 

Further details on the 2013 Rugby League World Cup are available from www.rlwc2013.com. Tickets go on sale at www.ticketmaster.ie on Friday, 26 October, 2012.

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