Four weeks to go until the Kiwis take on the Kumuls in Leeds

In four weeks’ time, Leeds will play host to the city’s first RLWC2013 match at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

At 8pm on Friday 8 November, reigning rugby league world champions New Zealand take on Papua New Guinea in their third and final group game.

With confirmation this week that Sonny Bill Williams, one of the world’s greatest rugby league players, has been named in the New Zealand world cup squad, excitement for the game on 8 November is starting to mount.

And it’s not just fans of rugby league that are in for a treat. Both RLWC2013 matches will offer a unique experience to spectators in keeping being part of a global sporting event.

In preparation for the tournament, Leeds City Council provided grants to local arts organisations to deliver RLWC themed cultural activities and raise awareness of the city’s host status to a wider audience. People heading to the game on 8 November will be entertained by one of these projects.

The ‘mass busk’ features 100 poetry buskers, who will perform their pieces on the approach to and inside the stadium grounds. Their poetry will explore themes of victory, sportsmanship and international friendship as inspired by the match and the teams playing. The buskers are from Heads Together, and the RLWC2013 themed project has been part funded by Leeds Inspired.

Leeds school children will be taking part in Matchday Festivals on both 8 and 15 November, and will arrive at Headingley Carnegie Stadium in the evening to form a parade marking their once in a lifetime participation in a world cup event.

Over 100 dancers, who have been part of the bigger RLWC2013 dance programme, will perform at the games. The nationwide programme has given thousands of dancers across the country the opportunity to perform as part of only the eighth sporting world cup ever to be held in the UK. A specially commissioned viral dance, created by Pete Shenton and Tom Roden from New Art Club, will also be performed, with the thousands of sports fans at the stadium being encouraged to join in. More information about the RLWC2013 dance programme can be found here http://bit.ly/18Rdm5L

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

“It’s just four weeks now until people in Leeds get the opportunity to attend a world cup event in their very own city.

“Rugby League World Cup 2013 is going to be a fantastic tournament, and Leeds is immensely proud to have reigning world champions New Zealand staying and playing in the city.

“The games at Headingley Carnegie Stadium are both going to be truly world class events, with lots of activities and entertainment to make them unique experiences for spectators. I for one cannot wait to ‘be there’ to soak up the atmosphere and give both sides a warm and rousing Yorkshire welcome!”

Gary Hetherington, chief executive of Leeds Rugby said:

“Following the end of the Super League season, all the focus is now on the world cup and the excitement is building especially here in Leeds where we will be hosting the World Champions New Zealand.

“The game between the Kiwis and Papua New Guinea is shaping up to one of the most exciting in the tournament’s pool stages. It is not often that fans get to see the unique Papua New Guinean side in action, and now they face New Zealand with Sonny Bill Williams. I am expecting this game to be a must-see event for all rugby league fans, especially across West Yorkshire.

“Sonny Bill is a true superstar of both codes of rugby, having helped the All Blacks to win the Union World Cup and now he is trying to do what no player has ever done before and become a World Champion in both codes at the same time.

“I think both the pool game and the Quarter Final match will be events that fans will look back proudly in years to come and say ‘I was there’ and I am sure they will be great occasions”

Buying tickets for the games at Headingley couldn’t be easier, and there is a great offer available to everyone when buying for both games. When a ticket to one of the games is purchased, a ticket for the second game is then available to buy at half price. Ticket prices start at just £10 (£5 concessions) for group games and quarter-finals.

Tickets are available from the ticket office at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and the Leeds Visitor Centre at Leeds Railway Station. Leeds Visitor Centre is open 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.

Heads Together is a community arts organisation, which has been delivering imaginative community based creative activities for the past 26 years. Working across West Yorkshire, their major programme of work in Leeds is East Leeds FM, a community based radio project.


For media enquiries, please contact;

Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (07712) 214233

Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk