A civic welcome for the New Zealand and Italy national RL teams

The cream of international rugby league was officially welcomed to Leeds today by Lord Mayor, Councillor Tom Murray, at a civic reception for reigning world champions New Zealand, and Italy.

Both squads are in Leeds preparing for their final group games in Rugby League World Cup 2013, and could potentially face each other in the tournament's first quarter final on 15 November at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. Excitement in the city continues to build ahead of New Zealand’s clash with Papua New Guinea at Headingley Carnegie this Friday, with a bumper crowd being expected.

Over 120 guests attended the civic reception, which was jointly hosted by the Lord Mayor, Leeds Rugby Foundation and Leeds Rugby. The guests were treated to performances from Leeds Young Authors, RJC Dance, and South Asian Arts-uk, and pupils from Holy Family Catholic Primary school performed a special Haka. Gary Hetherington of Leeds Rugby led a question and answer session with representatives from both teams.

Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Tom Murray said:

“I was delighted to welcome both the New Zealand and Italian teams to Leeds, and I hope they enjoy their time here. I wish both teams for best of luck for their final group games and hope that we get to see them both perform in the quarter final here in Leeds next Friday.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for leisure and skills said:

“As a city, we are immensely proud to be hosting two games as part of this global sporting event, and to have the reigning world champions, New Zealand staying and playing in Leeds is fantastic. We wish all teams the best and I can’t wait to be there at the game at Headingley this Friday!

“We are also delighted that the Italian squad have been staying and training in the city, and wish them well for their final group game on Sunday.”

Gary Hetherington, chief executive of Leeds Rugby said:

“The excitement has been building up over the last few weeks ahead of the arrival of the World Champions in Leeds and we are delighted to be hosting the Kiwis in our city and at our home at Headingley Carnegie. Fans have been keen to snap up tickets for the game against Papua New Guinea, who include our new signing Paul Aiton in their side, so there is plenty of interest in both teams. Tickets are still available for the game and hopefully we can create a special night on Friday.”

The New Zealand team arrived in Leeds on Monday 4 November ahead of their final group game against Papua New Guinea on Friday, 8 November at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

The matches at Headingley Carnegie Stadium are the best way to see RLWC2013 in West Yorkshire! Leeds Rugby announced on Sunday evening that the South Stand and Carnegie Stand terrace are now sold out for the game this Friday (8 November). There is limited availability for seats as well as ground tickets for the Western Terrace. Ground tickets may be purchased at the turnstiles on the evenings of the games. There is availability at present in all areas for the Quarter Final, but please book early to avoid disappointment.

More than half of tickets are £20 or less and if tickets are bought for the first game, you get 50% off the ticket price for the quarter final match. Tickets for under 16s, students, over 65s start are from only £7.50 for one game, or £11.25 for both games. Family ticket deal - if you buy 2 adult tickets and 1 child ticket you get another child ticket free.

Tickets are available from the ticket office at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and the Leeds Visitor Centre at Leeds Railway Station, the opening hours of which 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 tourinfo@leeds.gov.uk, or telephone 0113 242 5242.

Tickets can also be purchased by visiting www.rlwc2013.com or by calling the 24 hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.


For media enquiries, please contact;

Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (07712) 214223

Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk