Football League match to be themed around Rugby League World Cup

James Gordon
University of Bolton Stadium pulls out of hosting World Cup quarter-final

Bolton Wanderers’ Football League One match against Lincoln City this weekend will be themed around the Rugby League World Cup to promote the fixture being held in the town.

The University of Bolton Stadium will host England’s match against France on Saturday October 22 (5pm).

It had previously been selected as a host venue for a quarter-final match too, but had to withdraw due to a clash with a snooker event at the stadium. That quarter-final, likely to involve Samoa, is now being held at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington.

The World Cup team are taking the trophies to the game on Saturday, with fans able to get up close for photo opportunity by the fan zone from midday.

In addition, the trophies will make their way pitchside at half time, along with Robbie Hunter Paul, who is a Mental Fitness ambassador for the World Cup. Young Westhoughton Lions’ players will also take to the pitch during the break to show off their rugby skills while Lofty will be joined for a lap of honour by the RLWC’s mascot, RugBee.

Fans will be able to find out more about the tournament in a dedicated programme piece and hospitality guests will also have the chance to check out the trophies when they make their way into the Platinum Suite, post-game.

Neil Hart, Chief Executive Officer at Bolton Wanderers said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming the RLWC2021 team to the University of Bolton Stadium for Saturday’s match day activation, ahead of the England men’s group fixture in just a few weeks.

“It’s a fantastic chance for our fans to get up close to the tournament trophies and learn a little more about this exciting global event that we’re proud to be hosting right here at the home of the Wanderers.

“Our thanks to the RLWC2021 and to Bolton Council for their ongoing support and we look forward to seeing all the months of hard work come to life on the 22nd October.”

Bolton’s ground is no stranger to rugby league, having held the Challenge Cup semi-final double headers there in 2018 and 2019.

In 2018, Catalans defeated St Helens on the way to their famous win at Wembley in front of 26,086 fans, with Warrington beating Leeds in the other game.

The World Club Challenge has been held in Bolton three times, including St Helens’ wins over Brisbane in 2001 and 2007. It also hosted Saints’ defeat to Sydney Roosters in 2003.

An Ashes series game between Great Britain and Australia was held there in 2001, while at the 2000 World Cup, England’s 49-6 semi-final defeat to New Zealand was also played there.

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