Paul excited by Leigh hosting international
Leigh Centurions star Robbie Paul is counting down the days before Leigh Sports Village holds its first international match on 12 June, and believes it is great news for an area that is a hotbed of Rugby League.
Last week it was announced that the 10,000 venue will stage the Gillette Fusion International between England and France and Paul expects a sell-out crowd for the game that will be a special occasion for all those who attend.
Robbie Paul said: “I think it’s great for such a Rugby League rich area to host such a prestigious game as the mid-season international between England and France. Clubs who have great facilities should be rewarded and I think it is testament to the RFL for staging this game in Leigh.
“Because it’s going to be the first international at Leigh Sports Village I expect it to be a very special occasion, made even more special by the fact that it’s England’s only game on home soil in 2010.
“The tickets for the game are only £10 so it’s great value for money for anyone looking to attend especially to see the likes of Kyle Eastmond, Sam Tomkins and Jamie Peacock representing their country.
“It’s not often that international games are played in Leigh so I’d urge all the local community to turn out in force to see what I think will be great game and a great day out for the whole family.”
One thing that Paul expects to make it a special occasion for all supporters and players involved is the atmosphere which he believes Leigh Sports Village will soon become famous for.
Paul said: “I know from our home games this season the sound the crowd makes is magnified so that it sounds like you’ve actually got 10,000 in the stadium people roaring you on.
"So come the England game the atmosphere will be massive and the fans will really rock the stadium to its foundations.
“The England supporters really got behind their team during last year’s Four Nations and I expect them to do the same for this game as it’s the only chance to see England play at home during all of 2010.”
The June international will be the first game in charge for England’s new head coach so Paul expects those picked for England to put in really strong performances. But the former Kiwi international thinks France will be really tough opponents for the new England coach as shown in last year’s Gillette Four Nations when Tony Smith’s men had a real scare at the Keepmoat Stadium.
“I think France surprised many people in just how competitive they were in the Four Nations,” said Paul. “Take the game at the Keepmoat they outplayed England in the first half and went in at half-time with a deserved lead.
“They’ll be looking to build on last year and put in a big performance in June. Later this year they’re playing in the European Cup, a tournament they must win in order to qualify for the 2011 Four Nations so they’ll be keen to set a platform in this game.
“As for England, this game is all about the new coach and the players looking to put in impressive performances so that they can go some way to securing their place on the plane to New Zealand and Australia for this autumn’s Four Nations.
“I expect England to win but think it will be a really tough encounter just like it was last year in Doncaster.”
Tickets for the Gillette Fusion International between England and France on Saturday 12 June at Leigh Sports Village are now on-sale. All pre-purchase tickets for the game for anywhere in the stadium are priced just £10 for adults and £5 for concessions and can be purchased now from the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 11 13 or via www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk
For the latest information about England Rugby League please visit www.englandrl.co.uk