'We’ll bring the World Cup to Wrexham'

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

AN OFFICIAL bid for Wrexham’s historic Racecourse Ground to host matches in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup has been launched.

And the campaign has won the full backing of hotelier and chair of the town’s chamber of trade Stephanie Booth, who has been in talks to buy Wrexham FC.

She said: “I am giving this my total backing and will do anything I can to help.

“This will put Wrexham on the map and bring in major economic benefits.

“It will definitely bring more people into the town and those people will spend their money here.

“The Racecourse, the Crusaders and Wrexham FC need all the help they can get at the moment.”

The Rugby Football League is currently searching for likely venues for the prestigious event, which involves 14 nations, and will be televised in more than 120 countries across the globe.

And Wrexham Council has teamed up with Super League’s only Welsh side, Crusaders RL, who are based at the Racecourse, to put together a challenge to become one of the hosts.

The campaign will run under the banner ‘Wrexham 2013 – Bringing Rugby League to Life’.

The outcome of the bid will be announced in the autumn, and if it is successful, Wrexham would not only provide the venue for key group games in the tournament but would also provide a base for team training camps.

The Racecourse is the world’s oldest international stadium and hosted a group match between Wales and the Cook Islands in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.

Crusaders chief executive Rod Findlay said: ”The stadium has a proud history of hosting international sporting events, going way back to 1877, and we would love the 2013 Rugby League World Cup to be part of that legacy.

“There are thousands and thousands of people watching rugby league here in North Wales who weren’t watching two or three years ago and this event will help us attract thousands more.”

The Mayor of Wrexham, Cllr Jim Kelly, said: “In recent years, Wrexham has hosted international football, rugby union, and rugby league matches, the Hockey
European Cup and the town will host the 2011 National Eisteddfod this summer.

“We believe that bringing the 2013 Rugby League World Cup will leave a lasting legacy.”

Wrexham resident Allen Jones, 51, who has been involved in rugby league as both an amateur coach and player for over 20 years, said:

“More and more people are looking to get involved in the game, whether it is playing or coaching. Hosting a Rugby League World Cup game will see those numbers increase.”

Members of the public can back the bid by visiting the official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/rugbywrexham2013.

See full story in the Leader

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