Steele delight as the Shay gets World Cup nod for 2013

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HALIFAX chairman Michael Steele has spoken of his delight after Calderdale Council’s successful bid to act as a host for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

The Shay was one of 16 tournament venues unveiled by RLWC boss Nigel Wood in Manchester yesterday morning.

It will be the first time the ground has hosted a full international match after staging one fixture - featuring Italy and the USA - in the Emerging Nations tournament in 2000.

“I’m delighted for everyone at Calderdale Council who was involved in putting the bid together,” said Steele.

“Anything that raises the profile of rugby league in the area is a good thing.

“It won’t impact on the club directly, but we will certainly be doing everything we can to help the Council present a spectacle worthy of a World Cup.

“It will be a Rugby Football League fixture, but I’d also be surprised if they didn’t use our expertise at putting on rugby league matches at the Shay.

“I think it’s something for everyone in Calderdale to look forward to.”

One fringe benefit for Fax and Halifax Town could be the provision of a permanent electronic scoreboard to finally replace the makeshift wooden one that currently resides in the North Stand.

“There have been discussions surrounding a scoreboard and it is our understanding that one will be installed, although we are still waiting for confirmation,” said Steele.

A total of 34 bids, comprising 30 stadia, 47 team training sites and 87 team base camps, were submitted to the RFL by the July deadline, with each undergoing a detailed inspection from the 2013 team.

The Shay’s acceptance represents a timely boost for the Council, who have spent around £5million completing the venue’s East Stand.

The RFL are thought to have opted to concentrate the competition largely in the game’s heartlands after incurring heavy losses financial losses the last time the competition was held in this country 11 years ago.

A full RLWC fixture list is still to be confirmed, but the final will be held on November 30, 2013, with Old Trafford tipped as the likely venue.