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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Rugby League World Cup in Workington will be huge boost for amateur game - Bowden

Workington Town chairman Dave Bowden vowed that the hard work can now begin after yesterday’s announcement that the club will host two Rugby League World Cup games in 2013.

Dave Bowden photo
Dave Bowden

Related: Workington to host Rugby League World Cup 2013 games

Although £450,000 has been made available by Allerdale council and Britain’s Energy Coast, and is already in place to revamp Derwent Park, Bowden said the community programme is probably more important if west Cumbria is going to remain a rugby league heartland.

“We’ve drawn up a work schedule for the ground and there will be improvements to the grandstand, floodlights and pitch, as well as a new electronic scoreboard,” said Bowden. “And we expect to be a long way down the line to completing a majority of that work by the beginning of next season.

“But there are two sides to this – the stadium and the community project. West Cumbria is described as a rugby league heartland and in years gone by it was such without people having to work at it.

“You can’t rely on that now and, if it’s going to remain a rugby heartland, we have to work at it and investment has to be put into the game.

“That’s where we all have to pull together, the clubs, the councils and the fans.

“The Rugby League World Cup is all about re-establishing the heritage of the game in this area.”

Bowden said the World Cup would be a huge boost for the game at amateur level as well, with the interest created seeing more youngsters taking up the game with local amateur clubs. And there’s also the huge economic boost for the area, with fans coming into west Cumbria for the Scotland v Tonga and Scotland v Italy games.

Meanwhile, Barrow vice-chairman Mike Sunderland says he is disappointed but not disheartened at Craven Park missing out on World Cup rugby.

The Raiders recently made a late bid to host a group match at next year’s tournament, after the original venue chosen – Pow Beck Stadium in Whitehaven – was ruled out due to fears the new ground would not be built in time.

Craven Park has tasted World Cup rugby before, having successfully staged a match between Russia and Fiji in 2000. And club chairman Jimmy Tongue was hopeful the bid would come up trumps, having received positive feedback from the RFL and backing from Barrow Borough Council.

“We’re very disappointed,” said Sunderland. “We thought we had a very good bid submitted but we can totally understand the RFL’s logic. We weren’t in the original bid process, we have come in as a rank outsider on the off-chance that we would be able to host one of the games.

“It’s unfortunate – it was a bit remiss of us of not originally applying, however that was before this board was set up.”

Have your say

Couldn't agree more with John Hunter (Posted on 18 July 2012 at 14:26). In Australia the famous St George Dragons have merged with the "not so famous" Illawara Steelers and Western Suburbs have merged with Balmain. Despite the whining & whinging from the diehard supporters of each team both mergers have been successful with the merged teams "ground sharing". Perhaps common sense and reality are hard to admit to in West Cumb ?
Oh and just for the record I've seen many games at both The Rec and Derwent Park(even before speedway days) as I grew up in West Cumb.
Watched Haven against Barrow this morning courtesy of Setanta and I think Haven need to go back to the drawing board before they have any more dreams about joining Super League.
And tomorrow night I'll be at one of the best stadiums in the world for watching RL/RU & soccer - Lang Park in Brisbane.

Posted by Smudge on 20 July 2012 at 00:19

Italy, Tonga, Scotland, what do they have in common?
For a start off Puzzled they all played in the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Posted by Smudge on 19 July 2012 at 23:58

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