Queensland to headline '08 RL World Cup celebrations

The ultimate prize in Rugby League - the World Cup - will tour Queensland in November as part of the celebrations marking Queensland's hosting the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.

Premier Anna Bligh and Sport Minister Judy Spence today announced that Queenslanders from Cairns to Coolangatta will have the chance to see the trophy in person, meet current and former greats, and take part in a series of World Cup festivities.

Ms Bligh said: "its exciting news that 100 days out from the first game the final in Brisbane is all-but sold out.

"But there are plenty of other opportunities to see some World Cup action and I'm encouraging people to book their tickets.

"We've secured seven games across Queensland, including five pool games, a semi-final and the final to be held at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday 22 November 2008.

"And for those who can't get to a game, the Queensland Government is taking the Rugby League World Cup trophy on a tour through regional Queensland.

"The Cup will be on show on the Gold Coast before being taken on a five-day rail tour of regional centres, starting in Cairns and stopping in Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and Bundaberg, before arriving at Roma Street Station in Brisbane.

"At each stop the Queensland Government will be hosting a variety of local celebrations featuring past and present rugby league greats.

"The events will include rugby league coaching clinics, BBQ lunches and educational functions," Ms Bligh said.

Ms Spence said the regional events will culminate in a public celebration in Brisbane's CBD on Wednesday 19 November.

"After the trophy arrives at Roma Street station it will be taken to the Queen Street Mall.

"Then the trophy and players from the two teams in the final will be taken on a motorcade through the Mall finishing at Queen's Park (at the end of the Mall) where the players will cheered on by f ans.

"The Queensland Government Welcome Day in Queen's Park will include entertainment, a free lunch and the chance for children to test their rugby league skills.

"I'm sure many Queenslanders will be eager to get autographs from players and have a photo taken with the trophy.

Ms Spence said the World Cup will bring millions in economic benefit to Queensland and showcase the State to the world.

"The Suncorp Stadium final alone will have an economic impact estimated at up to $17 million.

"There is no doubt that the games in Townsville, Rockhampton, the Gold Coast and Brisbane will showcase our world-class sporting facilities to fans around the globe," Ms Spence said.

The Sunshine Coast is to host the French team and it is to be the venue for the Police Rugby League World Cup.

Qld Games
Sat, 25 Oct 08 Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville Eng v PNG
Sat, 1 Nov 08 Skilled Park, Gold Coast NZ v PNG
Sat, 8 Nov 08 Browne Park, Rockhampton Pool (2-2)v(3-2)
Sun, 9 Nov 08 Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville PNG v Aust
Mon, 10 Nov 08 Skilled Park, Gold Coast Semi Qualifier Pool (1-2)v(1-3)
Sat, 15 Nov 08 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Semi-Final (1)
Sat, 22 Nov 08 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane FINAL

More info at: www.rlwc08.com

Qld Gov RLWC Community Events
Saturday 8 November
Sunshine Coast
Function for Rugby League identities and Sunshine Coast community and sporting representatives

Wednesday 12 November
Gold Coast
Queensland Rugby League (QRL) coaching clinic at a local school.
Function for Rugby League identities and Gold Coast community and sporting representatives
Rugby League 'Locker Room' public educational forum with guest speakers and the Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) trophy on display

Thursday 13 November
Cairns
QRL coaching clinic at a local school.

Friday 14 November
Cairns
The RLWC Rail Tour departs Cairns (9:15am) and is farewelled by local representatives.
Townsville
The RLWC Rail Tour arrives in Townsville (3:30pm).
QRL coaching clinic at a local school.
Function for Rugby League identities, the Townsville community and sporting representatives Rugby League 'Locker Room' public educational forum with guest speakers and the RLWC trophy on display

Saturday 15 November
Townsville
The RLWC Rail Tour departs Townsville (4:35pm) and is farewelled by local representatives.
Mackay
The RLWC Rail Tour arrives in Mackay (8:30pm).

Sunday 16 November
Mackay
Public lunch in Mackay city centre with Rugby League identities, community representatives and the RLWC trophy on display.
The RLWC Rail Tour departs Mackay (8:50pm).

Monday 17 November
Rockhampton
The RLWC Rail Tour arr ives in Rockhampton (1:25am).
QRL coaching clinic at a local school.
Function for Rugby League identities and Rockhampton community and sporting representatives
Rugby League 'Locker Room' public educational forum with guest speakers and the RLWC trophy on display

Tuesday 18 November
Rockhampton
The RLWC Rail Tour departs Rockhampton (7:15am).

Bundaberg
The RLWC Rail Tour arrives in Bundaberg and is welcomed by local representatives (10:10am).
QRL coaching clinic at a local school.

Wednesday 19 November
Bundaberg
The RLWC Rail Tour departs Bundaberg (5:15am).

Brisbane
The RLWC Rail Tour arrives at Roma Street Station (9:40am) in Brisbane and is welcomed by Sport Minister and other guests.
A motorcade transports RLWC trophy and RLWC Final players through the Queen Street Mall.
A public celebration at Queen's Park with R LWC final player presentations and interviews, entertainment, activities and a free public lunch.
Function for Rugby League identities, the Brisbane community and sporting representatives.
Rugby League 'Locker Room' public educational forum with guest speakers and the RLWC trophy on display.

Media contact: Minister's Office - 3239 6218