The countdown to July’s Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup is well and truly on following the completion of the official competition draw at World Cup venue Medway Park earlier today (Tuesday April 23).
The formal draw was made by Councilor Howard Doe, Medway Council cabinet member for community services and chief executive Neil Davies and will see reigning champions England clash with pre-tournament favorites France on the opening day of competition on Wednesday July 3.
Tickets for the group stage matches, the semi-finals and the hotly anticipated final have also gone on sale with immediate effect.
Speaking at the draw, Councilor Howard Doe said: “We are delighted that Medway has been chosen to host the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup. It is a reflection of our growing reputation as an international sporting venue, and I hope the people of Medway will embrace the opportunity to watch these elite athletes in action.”
“The facilities for both spectators and the athletes themselves are superb and we are pleased that the area has embraced the competition and that local service providers will also benefit from event.
“The games will certainly be fantastic and I would urge everyone to secure their tickets now for what will be fantastic festival of Wheelchair Rugby League.”
The World Cup is the biggest event in the sport’s calendar and takes place at Medway Park, Gillingham, from Wednesday July 3 to Saturday July 13 and forms part of the Festival of World Cups being staged in the build-up to this autumn’s Rugby League World Cup 2013, hosted by England and Wales.
Reigning wheelchair world champions England will be hoping to regain the title they won in Australia in 2008. However, they will face tough competition from Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia and France, who are pre-tournament favourites having defeated England in a spectacular international at Medway Park last August which attracted the largest crowd in the sport’s history.
In the group stages, each team plays the other two teams drawn in their group plus one country from the opposing group.
The World Cup forms part of the Medway Festival of Sport, a three-month festival of more than 50 different participation and spectator events for all ages in 70 days. During the competition there will also be opportunities for people to experience wheelchair rugby league for themselves.
Tickets are on sale now at www.medwayticketslive.co.uk, from the box office on 01634 338338, or in person from the Visitor Information Centre in Rochester, or the Brook and Central Theatres in Chatham. Tickets will also be available on the door at Medway Park on match days, subject to availability.
Fixtures and tickets
Wednesday July 3
Saturday July 6
Tuesday July 9
Tickets £4 (£1 children) for a single match or £6 (£1.50 children) for all three matches on that day
Thursday July 11: Semi Finals
Winner of Pool A V Runner Up Pool B
Winner of Pool B V Runner Up Pool A
Tickets £7.50 (£2.50 children)
Saturday July 13: World Cup Final
Tickets £10 (£3.50 children).