Preston may see some international rugby league stars on its streets in 2021.Advertisement
The city is bidding to become a host city for when the Rugby League World Cup comes to the UK.
Preston City Council is preparing to put itself forward to host a training camp as it did in 2013.
While the city is not bidding to be hosting any of the matches – Deepdale’s hallowed turf won’t be trampled by rugby studs – it could see one of the international teams based here during the tournament.
The University of Central Lancashire would provide the training pitches at the UCLan Sports Arena and the team would stay at the Marriott Hotel in Broughton.
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A spokeswoman for the city council said: “We are working with key stakeholders from across the city to consider the potential for Preston to be a host city for the Rugby League World Cup and to prepare a bid, but it is early days.
“Preston has a long sporting history and as well as being host to the UK Corporate Games in 2012, has previously hosted international rugby teams, from Ireland, Fiji and Scotland.”
The university was the training ground for the Irish rugby league side in 2013, and in 2016 the Scottish rugby league side based themselves in the city for the Four Nations tournament.
Acting head of the school of sport and wellbeing at UCLan Leona Trimble said: “UCLan made a great success of being a host training venue for the last Rugby League World Cup on home soil, welcoming both Ireland and Fiji.
“Working with Preston City Council and the Marriott Hotel, we aim to once again play an integral part in this international sporting event and bring the very best of rugby league to the heart of Lancashire. We want the local community to really feel part of the tournament and hopefully by becoming a host venue, we can help to promote the sport within local schools, colleges and clubs.
“UCLan has a strong history of welcoming international sports team to use our outstanding facilities and we hope to continue this by hosting some top-class athletes as they prepare for the World Cup in 2021.”
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If successful the city council would host a civic reception for the rugby league side, which would cost around £200.
The proposal is due to be discussed by the city council’s cabinet on Wednesday 20 June.
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