Bring the World Cup to Wigan!

Warriors' coach Michael Maguire and Lord Smith
Warriors' coach Michael Maguire and Lord Smith
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A BUMPER team of leading figures are campaigning for the Rugby League World Cup to come to Wigan

The group are a partnership of top brass from Wigan Council, Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, the PCT, Leigh Sports Village and of course Wigan Warriors and Leigh Centurions.

And they are bidding to bring the World Cup to the borough for the October 2013 tournament, which the UK will host.

Council leader Lord Peter Smith said: “Wigan Borough is increasingly being seen as a centre of sporting excellence – from Premier League football to rugby champions, and with Olympic hopefuls in our midst, as well as successful events such as International Boccia and the upcoming Pennington Flash half-marathon, we can hold our heads up high. Sport really matters here.”

Lord Smith and senior colleagues have recently met with leading sporting figures at the DW Stadium to develop partnerships on issues affecting the borough and this week leading local bodies announced plans to be a host venue for the 14th RL World Cup. Lord Smith added: “As well as generating international talent, sport in the borough has genuine grass roots support and links into the wider community.

“The council is a stakeholder in the DW Stadium and Leigh Sports Village and, together with our partners, we’re relishing the chance to see international rugby in our stadia.”

Wigan Warriors star Sam Tomkins has played for Super League Champions Wigan Warriors all his career and has grown up in the town.

He said: “I am delighted that Wigan Borough has begun preparing a bid to host some games in the 2013 World Cup. As a Wigan lad the thought of playing for my country in a World Cup semi final at the DW Stadium sends shivers down my spine and is something I’ve dreamed about since being young.”

Simon Toon, chief executive of Leigh Sports Village, added: “The borough can rightly boast of its fine and up to date facilities. The stadium at Leigh has already proved its value and quality in high profile competition and to see rugby and the eyes of the world on us will continue work we can be proud of.”