Bolton has been confirmed as an official host of the Rugby League World Cup 2013.
The Rugby Football League (RFL) has announced that Bolton will provide a base for a competing nation.
Bolton Arena will be used as a team training camp for the 14-nation tournament and DeVere Whites Hotel will act as a team base camp.
Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Councillor Ismail Ibrahim, said: “We are delighted that Bolton has been chosen as a host for the Rugby League World Cup 2013 and hope our training camp provides a competitive advantage for the team which stays here.
“Hopefully the players will be able to enjoy some of the town’s many attractions whilst they are here and we look forward to working with the organisers in the run up to the World Cup.”
Bolton Arena Commercial Manager, Gwyn Hughes, added: “We are thrilled to be part of a successful bid to bring world class sport to Bolton. Having hosted top class boxing, tennis and badminton events, we are looking forward to adding rugby league to that list when we welcome one of the competing nations. We aim to do Bolton proud with the quality of our facilities and the warmth of our welcome.”
2013 Rugby League World Cup Tournament Director, Nigel Wood, said: “I would like to congratulate Bolton who have been successful in their bid to host a team in what I am confident will be a World Cup that enhances the UK’s golden decade of sport.
“We experienced massive interest in hosting matches and teams from all across Europe and the bidding process proved to be hugely competitive. In putting together their bid over the last 12 months, Bolton has demonstrated a level of commitment that gives us confidence that the 2013 Rugby League World Cup will exceed everyone’s expectations.”
A total of 34 bids, comprising 30 stadia, 47 team training sites and 87 team base camps, were submitted to the RFL. Each of the bidding hosts underwent a detailed inspection from a 2013 team to examine the various sites venue specifications, as well as evaluating the enthusiasm and commitment of each bidding host.
More than half a million people are expected to watch the 28 matches live over a six-week period in the autumn of 2013 with a further 20 million viewers from 120 countries tuning in around the world.
The 2013 Rugby League World Cup will involve 14 nations: Australia; Cook Islands; England; Fiji; France; Ireland; Italy; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Samoa; Scotland; Tonga; USA, and Wales.