Halifax see World Cup benefits

Halifax director Mike Riley believes being a World Cup host will do their Super League bid no harm at all.

The Shay will stage Italy v Tonga at the 2013 World Cup, having fought off competition from a number of other bid cities.

The club missed out on a place in Super League 2012 to Widnes in the last licensing process, but Riley believes Halifax’s facilities are better than “five or six” current Super League clubs.

He told Running Rugby: “We benefit from location and facilities. We are the most central club in the M62 corridor and have a new stadium. When it was built we told the RFL that we were keen to host representative games.

“I’m sure that the town will do everything to make sure it is a success. As a venue this will put us on the map.”

Games will be played in Bristol, Neath, Cardiff, Wrexham, Limerick, Avignon and Perpignan, so Halifax, alongside Whitehaven, can count themselves fortunate to have landed a match in traditional heartlands of the game.

Riley added: “I know they were looking at a lot of venues outside the game in Ireland, Wales and France so we consider ourselves lucky to get one (a match).

“I would like to think it’s more about where we are now rather than what has happened in history. It’s purely my own opinion but I consider our stadium to be better than five or six currently in the Super League.”

Halifax, who are currently top of the Championship, will put their name forward for promotion once again when the next licensing process comes around ahead of the 2015 season.

“When the licences are next renewed I cannot see how it can do us any harm,” added Riley. “We were the one team turned down last time and were registered as the bridesmaid who would step in if anything went wrong.”

“The World Cup is like the Olympics. You will go along to a match you would not normally attend purely because it’s the World Cup – it’s a big occasion.”

Click here to read the full interview on Running Rugby.

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