We've been expecting you... Thomond Park to host Rugby League World Cup showdown

Decision by Rugby League chiefs to award group game to home of Munster Rugby welcomed in Limerick.

Thomond Park: will host one group game next year.
Thomond Park: will host one group game next year.
Image: INPHO/Billy Stickland

LIMERICK WILL PLAY host to  the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Thomond Park is one of 18 venues across four countries in which the tournament will be held, the Rugby Football League announced today.

Grounds in England, Wales and France – as well as the home of Munster Rugby on Shannonside – have been chosen for the group stages and quarter-finals of the 14-team tournament.

A total of 34 bids were submitted to the RFL by the July deadline. Thomond Park, which hosted a first rugby league match last month, will be a venue for a group match.

Karen Brosnahan of  Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau hailed the decision this morning:

“This is a fantastic day for Limerick, the Shannon Region, Thomond Park, Rugby League Ireland & the Irish sporting public.  Today’s announcement by the RFL is the ideal conclusion to an intensive 12 month campaign that was built on showcasing Limerick’s superb sporting infrastructure & our superbly passionate sporting people.”

Tournament Director Nigel Wood said: “I would like to congratulate the entire Limerick Bid Team who have been successful in their bid to host matches in what I am confident will be a World Cup that will help to enhance Rugby League’s ever growing popularity in Ireland.

“We experienced massive interest in hosting matches from all across Europe and the bidding process proved to be hugely competitive. In putting together their bid over the last 12 months, Shannon Development & the Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau have demonstrated a level of commitment that gives us confidence that the 2013 Rugby League World Cup will exceed everyone’s expectations.

“It has been a fantastic and inspiring bidding process and we have been extremely impressed with the quality, detail and diverse nature of the host bids received.”

The tournament will consist of two pools of four and two of three.

Ireland have been drawn alongside Australia, Fiji and England in Group A. Defending champions New Zealand will face Papua New Guinea, Samoa and France in Group B. Scotland will face Tonga and Italy in Group C and Wales have been drawn against the Cook Islands and the USA in Group D.

Upwards of half a million people are expected to watch the 28 matches live over a six-week period in the autumn of next year.

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