Sell-out crowd expected for World Cup clash

Italy coach Carlo Napolitano with some of his squad, questioned by Pete Emmett at a Q&A session at the Shay.
Italy coach Carlo Napolitano with some of his squad, questioned by Pete Emmett at a Q&A session at the Shay.
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Rugby fans in Halifax are gearing up for Sunday’s Rugby League World Cup clash between Italy and Tonga at the Shay.

The game is heading towards a sell-out, with only a few hundred tickets left for the 10,300 capacity stadium.

Fans attended a special question-and-answer session at the Shay, with Italy coach Carlo Napolitano and players from the Italian squad.

Among the fans attending was Leo Edmonds, 78, from Pye Nest, who said: “It’s good for the town and good for rugby league.

“It seems to have created some interest and there are going to be quite a lot of youngsters going from local schools which is great for them.

“Even my wife is going as a one-off!”

Matthew Brown, 28, from Savile Park, said: “It’s great to have this game in Halifax. I wanted to go to it as soon as I heard about it coming to Halifax.

“I’m going with my brother and a few friends.”

Billy Painter, 20, from Savile Park, said: “I think it’s fantastic for the town and it’s great that the town seems to have got behind it.

“I go home and away with Halifax Rugby League Club and hopefully it will be a great catalyst for getting more people from the town behind the club.

“It should be a fantastic game - the winner will go through to the quarter-finals so it could be one of the games of the tournament.

“As soon as I heard the game was coming to Halifax I went to get my ticket straight away - it’s not everyday you get a World Cup match in your home town.”

Italy coach Carlo Napolitano said: “I’ve always had a soft spot for Halifax over the years. It’s always been a great place to come and anything we can do for Halifax will be great.”