New Zealand to play World Cup warm-up at Doncaster

New Zealand will play Cook Islands at Doncaster in a World Cup warm-up match this October.

The Keepmoat Stadium, and south Yorkshire, missed out on hosting a game during the tournament itself, but will now welcome the two nations on Sunday October 20 (3pm kick-off).

Kiwi manager Tony Iro said: “We wanted a decent hit-out under English conditions before the World Cup. There’s a chance some of our guys won’t have played for 6-7 weeks and we don’t want to be underdone going into a tough first World Cup match against Samoa.

“We know that our boys, especially those that miss finals football, will want the opportunity to impress and I’m sure the Cooks guys will be in the same boat.”

Both the Kiwis and the Cook Islands were looking for a warm-up game before the main tournament, but were restricted in their choice of opponents, due to RLWC regulations around not playing teams in your pool or that you were likely to meet in later stages.

Doncaster owner Carl Hall, a former Junior Kiwi, helped arrange the match.

He said: “I’m proud to announce that not only international rugby league is coming to Doncaster – but the reigning champions of the world will be playing at the Keepmoat Stadium.

“After Doncaster missed out on a World Cup game I was very determined not to let it go after the hard work the people of the town had put in to try and hold a game or host a nation at this year’s tournament. 

“Me being me I thought I will do my best to get something here for the people of Doncaster and I’ve been working tirelessly to organise this game and have been knocked back from a few different organisations.

“I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason as I feel to get the world champions and my home nation at the Keepmoat is just unbelievable and can’t wait to see them in action.

“I would like to thank Kevin Iro who is like a big brother to me and is the top man for the Cook Islands and his brother Tony Iro who is the equivalent for the Kiwis – without these two the game wouldn’t be going ahead.”

Match day tickets will go on sale on Monday 15th July at the Keepmoat Stadium’s ticket office. Rugby league fans can take advantage of a fantastic early bird offer by purchasing a ticket at a reduced price before Tuesday 1st October.

 Early bird prices are £20 for adults, £15 for concessions, £5 for children (5-16) and under 5’s go free. After the October cut-off date each category of ticket will go up by £5. For more information or to book a ticket please call the ticket office on 01302 762576.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.