Poets to entertain Rugby League World Cup 2013 fans before big game

Poets from Heads Together practice ahead of Friday's big game

Thousands of fans are sure to be well versed in what the Rugby League World Cup 2013 means to Leeds ahead of Friday’s big match at Headingley Carnegie.

A 100-strong army of local poets will be performing for the crowds as they make their way to watch the clash between New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

The “poetry haka” will see wordsmiths from Heads Together reciting pieces of their own work, inspired by the themes of victory, sportsmanship and international friendship.

They will form an avenue of poetry leading up to the iconic stadium, where the game kicks off at 8pm.

Heads Together have recruited poets and performers who have been involved in their East Leeds FM community radio project and have had funding support from Leeds Inspired.

Peter Spafford, Words Director at Heads Together, said:

“We've had a fantastic response to our call for 100 Poets, both from individual poets but also from groups as diverse as Leeds Young Authors, Dead Poets, and Leeds Met.

“I can't wait to see them lining the walkway under the famous Western Terrace at the match on Friday.”

Pupils from schools across the city have also been given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get involved in the big game.

Youngsters from Leeds West Academy, Rodillian Academy, Mt Saint Mary’s Catholic High School and Carr Manor Community School will be carrying the tournament flag onto the pitch.

Pupils from Hunslet St Josephs RC Primary School, Valley View Community Primary School, Holy Family Catholic Primary School Shire Oak Cof E Primary School and Alwoodley Primary School will be escorting players onto the pitch on the night.

West Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre, Leeds Rhinos Wheelchair Rugby League Club, Sport on Saturday Community Disability Multi Sport Club and Lighthouse School Leeds will also form a guard of honour for the players.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure, said:

“People in Leeds have grabbed the chance to show how excited they are for the Rugby League World Cup in some really innovative and creative ways and I’m sure fans will love hearing what our local poets have come up with.

“It’s also wonderful that children from our schools will be playing their part in such a memorable sporting occasion. Taking to the pitch in front of thousands of fans will be something these lucky young people will never forget.”

As well as Friday’s game, the first Rugby League World Cup quarter final will take place at Headingley Carnegie on November 15, also kicking off at 8pm.

Tickets for RLWC2013 matches at Headingley 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.

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 £15 (£7.50 concessions) for group games and quarter-finals.

Tickets for the South Stand and Carnegie Stand terrace on Friday have now sold out. 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. Tickets are still available in all areas for the Quarter Final.