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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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World Cup will be rugby league treat for Cumbrian fans

Don Gailer has urged Cumbrian fans to get behind next year’s RL World Cup in Whitehaven.

Don Gailer photo
Don Gailer

The new Pow Beck Stadium in Whitehaven is due to host Scotland’s clashes with Italy and Tonga, and the Whitehaven coach believes supporters are in for a treat.

“It’s going to be great for the town and people will really like the Tongans,” Gailer said. “They are big, strong and aggressive footballers. They will also be very entertaining.

“Italy will have the Minichiello brothers, at least, so world class football is coming to Whitehaven.

“We can be part of the World Cup and celebrate an event that doesn’t happen too often in sport. We need to get behind it.

“We’ll have a sensational stadium and players playing for their countries. I’m excited about it and everyone should be keen to watch it. What better way to watch football?”

Sydney Roosters full-back Anthony Minichiello was recently installed as Italy captain while brother, Mark, a second-row with NRL rivals Gold Coast Titans, will be another classy addition to the squad.

Italy, who have qualified for the finals for the first time, will play Wales on October 26, 2013, in the tournament’s opening match at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, with matches to follow in Whitehaven and against Tonga in Halifax.

Head coach Carlo Napolitano who plotted Italy’s 13-6 victory against Wales in 2010, arguably their best international result to date, said: “The journey has been a long and winding one, even straying off the path a few times but with the ultimate goal to get Italy to the World Cup.

“If just taking part in it wasn’t great enough we now have the prestige of playing in the opening encounter against Wales. This is a fantastic opportunity to get Italian Rugby League on the map and also to develop it domestically in the country.

“This is great honour and I am personally thankful to all the players who have pulled on the Azzurri shirt and all the management and coaching staff who have worked hard to get us here.

“I can guarantee that we are not in the competition to just make up the numbers. We are going in with the aim of winning every game that we play and we will put together a squad who are capable of doing that.”

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