The countdown to Rugby League World Cup 2013 picks up pace today (Thursday 8 November) as the prestigious silverware comes to Leeds, exactly one year out from the first match to be played in the city.
The magnificent trophy will be on display at various locations during the day giving local children and residents the opportunity to see it and have their pictures taken with it.
The trophy’s first stop is Headingley Carnegie Stadium, venue of the two RLWC2013 matches being played in Leeds on 8 and 15 November 2013. It will be greeted by former Australian RL captain and rugby league legend Darren Lockyer, former England RL captain and the most successful Super League player of all time Jamie Peacock MBE, and six time Grand Final winner with Leeds Rhinos Danny McGuire. They will be joined by school children from Holy Family Catholic Primary School, who will each represent one of the 14 nations taking part in the tournament.
Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive board member for Rugby League World Cup 2013 in Leeds said:
"We are delighted to welcome the Rugby League World Cup trophy to Leeds. The events taking place today are designed to raise awareness and help people to engage with the next big global sporting event, part of which is taking place right here in Leeds.
“With our partners, we will be organising a programme of activities that will culminate next November when Headingley Carnegie Stadium play host to a group game between reigning world champions New Zealand and Papua New Guinea on 8 November, and a quarter-final on 15 November.
"I know that the people of Leeds will get behind this tournament and make it a truly memorable occasion for the city."
Gary Hetherington, chief executive of Leeds Rugby said:
"Today marks exactly a year to the day to Headingley Carnegie hosting the world champions New Zealand and Papua New Guinea and the excitement is already building. I am sure the Leeds public will get behind both games we will be hosting in Rugby League World Cup 2013 and we have seen this summer the power that sport has to inspire the next generation."
At lunchtime, the trophy will pay a visit to the offices of DLA Piper, the workplace of FLAG representative for Leeds Danny Frank. FLAG was created by tournament organisers to give fans a voice in the planning for RLWC2013. Members of DLA Piper staff will be able to view the trophy and take photographs over the lunchtime period.
Sarah Day, managing partner of DLA Piper’s Leeds office said:
"We are delighted to be able to play host to the Rugby League World Cup trophy this week. As a fan’s representative for RLWC2013, we are extremely proud of Danny Frank, a team leader in our business infrastructure team, who has inspired us all with his long service and dedication to the sport in the city. The sparkle of the Olympics may be behind us, but RLWC2013 will be the next big thing and we are thrilled to be able to support the trophy during its time in Leeds."
The trophy will then make its way to the John Charles Centre for Sport for a gamesmaker event with young players of rugby league from local schools being brought together to celebrate their achievements this year. Darren Lockyer will again be on hand to congratulate them and pose for photographs with the trophy.
Leeds Visitor Centre is selling tickets for the matches at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and all the other games in the tournament. The trophy will stop off at the centre between 3.30 and 5pm for people to view and take photographs.
On leaving Leeds Visitor Centre, the trophy will make its way to Cookridge Street, where fans keen to have their photo taken with it will be able to do so before and after it takes to the stage at the Leeds Christmas Lights Switch-On event with Darren Lockyer and Leeds and England RL star Ryan Hall. Ronnie the Rhino will also be bringing along another very special piece of silverware - the Super League trophy.
RLWC2013 match tickets are available from the Leeds Visitor Centre at Leeds Railway Station and the ticket office at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.
There is a fantastic double offer available for people buying tickets for the games at Headingley. When they buy a ticket to one of the games they can get a ticket for the second game at half price. Ticket prices start at just £10 (£5 concessions) for group games and quarter-finals. Tickets can also be purchased by visiting www.rlwc2013.com or by calling the 24 hour Ticket Hotline 0844 847 2013.
Rugby League World Cup 2013 kicks off on Saturday October 26, 2013 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, with matches played in England, Wales, Ireland and France. The final on Saturday November 30, 2013 will be played at Old Trafford.
The competition's structure will consist of two groups of four and two groups of three.
England are drawn alongside arch-rivals Australia as well as Fiji and Ireland in Group A; Rugby League World Cup holders New Zealand will face Pacific Island rivals Papua New Guinea and Samoa along with France in Group B.
Leeds Visitor Centre is situated at Leeds Railway Station. Opening hours are Monday 10am - 5.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday 9am - 5.30pm, Sunday 10am - 4pm. For more information please visit the website www.visitleeds.co.uk , email email@example.com, or telephone 0113 242 5242.
DLA Piper is one of the largest business law firms in the world with more than 4,200 lawyers in 77 offices over 31 countries. There are two offices in Leeds.
Twitter: #rlwc2013 @rlwc2013 Facebook: /rugbyleagueworldcup #bethere
For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578