The oldest trophy in world rugby visited Derry’s Walls on Friday afternoon as part of a tour of Ireland ahead of this year’s Rugby League World Cup.
The Mayor of Derry Councillor Kevin Campbell was joined outside the Guildhall by representatives of Fáilte Ireland and Rugby League Ireland, as well as representatives of Shannon Development and the Shannon Conference and Sports Bureau who successfully bid to have the World Cup group tie played in Ireland.
Colr. Campbell congratulated everyone involved in the successful bid and added he was delighted to welcome tourism representatives to Derry during the city’s year as City of Culture.
“I want to congratulate everyone involved in bringing the Rugby League World Cup to Ireland in a move that will help to promote the game in Ireland as well as showcase this island to a huge international audience, in that Rugby League football is currently the most popular sport in Australia and the most watched sport on Australian television.
“As we celebrate our City of Culture status this year, I would like to extend my welcome to sporting and tourism representatives to the city, the inclusion of today’s event in our diverse cultural calendar is a optimum opportunity to highlight the talented and thriving rugby community here in the city whilst offering the chance to honour sporting professionals worldwide,” added Colr. Campbell.
Rugby League World Cup 2013 General Manager Sally Bolton said she was delighted to be able to bring the trophy to Derry and added that she hopes local fans will get behind Ireland when the tournament commences later this year.
“It is fantastic for us to have our trophy, the oldest trophy in world rugby, visiting Ireland. It has visited many historic locations already, so to add Derry’s city walls and Guildhall to this list is great for us. We hope it inspires Irish sports fans to get behind their team for the game against Australia at Thomond Park in November,” she said.
Further details on the 2013 Rugby League World Cup are available from www.rlwc2013.com. Tickets for the Ireland v Australia game on Saturday, 9th November are on sale at www.ticketmaster.ie.