Fans’ guide to the RL World Cup

England v Australia will be one of the highlights of the World Cup
England v Australia will be one of the highlights of the World Cup
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THE Rugby League World Cup is now just a day away and Wigan fans are set to play a huge part.

Thousands of Warriors supporters are expected to get behind Steve McNamara’s men with the borough playing host to two matches.

If Wiganers want to attend all three of England’s group games, there will be around 710 miles of round-trip travelling to do.

England’s first match takes place tomorrow as part of the big double-header opening ceremony at Cardiff’s Millenium Stadium...and it’s a big one.

They come up against tournament favourites Australia at 2.30pm in what is sure to be an exhilarating game ahead of the 4.30pm match featuring Italy and Wales, who are coached by Wigan assistant Iestyn Harris and feature Warriors Gil Dudson, Ben Flower and Rhodri Lloyd.

Tickets, which will allow supporters to watch both games, are still available with prices ranging from £20 to £99 for adults and £10 to £60 for under-16s and OAPs.

After that, the England team – which features Warriors stars Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Michael McIlorum, Liam Farrell, Lee Mossop and Sean O’Loughlin – will make the journey to play in front of a sell-out crowd at Huddersfield on November 2 to play Ireland, who have departing Wigan star Pat Richards among their ranks.

England’s final group game is against Fiji in Hull on November 9, with tickets still available and priced between £15 and £30 for adults, with a 50 per cent discount for under-16s and OAPs.

McNamara’s men need to finish in the top three of their group to qualify. Should they come top, England will play their quarter-final at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground on November 16, if they finish third they will play at Warrington on November 17.

However, a second-placed finish would see England come to Wigan to play in the quarter-final at the DW Stadium on November 16.

Tickets are still available for this fixture too, starting at £15 and going up to £40 with 50 per cent discounts for OAPs and under-16s.

However, organisers are putting a special offer on for anyone attending the game at Leigh Sports Village on November 5 between Tonga and the Cook Islands.

Fans who purchases a ticket for that match can get their DW Stadium ticket for half price.

Should England progress to the semi-finals, they will play at Wembley on November 23 as part of a double-header before the big final at Old Trafford on November 30.

With the Super League set to undergo a re-modelling in the coming years, it is hoped that the World Cup will bring in new fans to the sport.

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said: “The tournament is already capturing the imagination of the public across the length and breadth of the country and everything points to us achieving our stated ambition of making this the greatest Rugby League World Cup of all time.

“What has been particularly striking is the number of people purchasing tickets who are ‘new’ to the sport, with a fifth of all sales having been made to fans who have not previously bought tickets for major Rugby League events.

“Many of those people will fall in love with this great game when they witness at first hand the skill and athleticism that will be on show throughout the World Cup.

All World Cup tickets can be purchased via the tournament website at www.rlwc2013.com