Headingley to host Heinz Big Soup World Club Challenge

The greatest Rugby League teams in the world will do battle at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Friday February 17 when Super League champions Leeds Rhinos face NRL Grand Final winners Manly Sea Eagles in the Heinz Big Soup World Club Challenge.

The match, featuring the champions of the northern and southern hemispheres, will be sponsored for the first time by Heinz Big Soup and will kick off at 8.00pm.

Leeds will be making their fifth appearance in the world title decider and playing Manly for the first time since 2009, when the Sea Eagles won 28-20 at Elland Road in front of a crowd of 32,569.

The 2012 Heinz Big Soup World Club Challenge will for the first time ever be staged at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and with a 20,000 capacity, a sell out crowd is expected for the epic contest.

Leeds Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said: “The 2012 Heinz Big Soup World Club Challenge will be the fifth time in eight years that Leeds have taken on the NRL champions in eight years and after playing at Elland Road in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010, it’s exciting that this match will now be staged at Headingley Carnegie for the first time.

“First and foremost, we want to win and Headingley Carnegie on a Friday night could not be better.  The atmosphere will be special and hopefully intimidating enough to give us the edge.

“I would like to thank Manly, the RFL and NRL and Sky Sports for co-operating and supporting our plea to play at Headingley Carnegie on a Friday night.

“Naturally, we want all our fans to be there, so the initial ticket allocation will go to our 2012 season ticket holders, Leedsline Agents and RhinoS 4 Life members but then we want the rest of the City and other Rugby League fans to lend their support. It really is one to look forward to.”

Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield added: “We have some good memories from our previous World Club Challenges at Elland Road but to take on the NRL champions on our home ground will be incredible.

“There is nothing like Headingley Carnegie on a match night with a massive crowd in attendance and the thought of the Heinz Big Soup World Club Challenge is already making the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.”

Leeds head coach Brian McDermott said:  “It is magnificent that we are able to reward our supporters for their loyal support by bringing the Heinz Big Soup World Club Challenge home to Headingley Carnegie.

“We know we have a massive challenge on our hands against Manly Sea Eagles, who shown their quality by winning two NRL titles in four years.

“With players like Tony Williams, Anthony Watmough, Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran, all of whom have starred in the 2011 Gillette Four Nations, in their ranks, it promises to be a match to remember.”

The sponsorship of the World Club Challenge by Heinz Big Soup continues the company’s association with Rugby League following on from their partnership with the recent Four Nations.

Matthew Cullum, from Heinz, said: “This is proving to be a great opportunity for Heinz Big Soup to make its debut as title sponsor. We are utilising the title sponsorship in a number of ways to engage with our consumers, which we are really excited about.”

Heinz Big Soup will be a key feature at the World Club Challenge, giving fans the opportunity to interact with the brand and taste their big, chunky and tasty soups.

Heinz has recently re-launched their Heinz Big Soup range and now offer microwavable pots in addition to the tinned soups which have been synonymous with Heinz for many years.

Tickets for the 2012 Heinz Big Soup World Club Challenge cost from £20 adults and £13 concessions and go on sale from tomorrow morning at 9.00am to Rhinos 2012 season ticket holders, Rhinos 4 Life members and Leedsline agents at an allocation of two per person.

Leeds season ticket holders and members can purchase tickets by calling 0871 423 1315 (calls cost 10p per minute) or in person from Headingley Carnegie. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.therhinos.co.uk/buytickets

Tickets will be go on general sale at 9.00am on Tuesday December 6 with no limit on how many people wish to purchase – subject to availability. From December 6 tickets can be purchased by calling 0844 856 1113 or visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk

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