Wiganers descend on Sydney

Sydney harbour
Sydney harbour

AROUND 2,000 Warriors fans are set to arrive in Sydney this week for the World Club Challenge.

The grand city is slightly different from Wigan but both have proud histories and much to boast in their own ways.

Here, we take a look and compare some of the landmarks that define these destinations - and set them apart.

The World Club Challenge will be played out at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney. The ground was opened in 1988, costing $68m and has a capacity of 44,000.

Over the years, many spectacles have been played at the venue including Australia’s two Ashes Test rugby league victories over Great Britain in 1988.

Britain did, however, win the third test with Wiganer Mike Gregory running the length of the pitch to score.

The venue’s official record attendance for a sporting event stands at 43,967, set on October 31, 1993 .

The DW Stadium, formerly known as the JJB Stadium, is home to Wigan Warriors and Wigan Athletic. The ground, which cost £30m to build, was officially opened in 1999 when Latics played Manchester United in a friendly.

Last year the stadium trophy cabinet looked at its most impressive with the FA Cup, Challenge Cup and Super League trophy lined up.

The record attendance for the ground is 25,133 during Wigan Athletic’s game with Manchester United in 2008.

Away from sport, Sydney Opera House is a masterpiece of late modern architecture. It is admired internationally and proudly treasured by the people of Australia.

In its short lifetime the iconic venue has earned a reputation as a world-class performing arts centre and become a symbol of both Sydney and the Australian nation.

It may be small in comparison, but Wigan Little Theatre is steeped in history and tradition and remains a favourite landmark of the local community. With more than 50 seasons and 400 productions, the theatre has firmly established itself as one of the leading amateur theatres in Britain.

The Australian Museum is the oldest museum in the country. For over 180 years the it has been at the forefront of scientific research, collection and education. Today it continues its dual roles in research and education. From a “beautiful Collection of Australian curiosities,” the museum has grown to an internationally recognised collection of over 18 million cultural and scientific objects.

The Museum of Wigan Life was opened in 2010 following a £1.9m Heritage Lottery Fund refurbishment. It displays everything to do with Wigan from industry to sport and education to wartime.

Sydney’s Hyde Park is the southernmost of a chain of parkland that extends north to the shore of Sydney Harbour via the Domain and Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens and was named after London’s Hyde Park.

Mesnes Park in Wigan has recently undergone a multi-million-pound investment seeing refurbishment to the old bandstand and pavilion. It is as popular as ever these days and recently featured in the town’s first ever 10k road race.

Another notable landmark in Sydney is its famous harbour, which stretches across 240km of shoreline and encompasses approximately 54km sq of water.

One of Wigan’s most famous attractions is its Pier: originally just a coal loading jetty. Since then the quarter has been home to museums, a nightclub, businesses and flats.