IT may not have hosted a single match yet, but Saints’ magnificent new stadium has been picked as a venue for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
After submitting a strong bid, Saints’ Langtree Park beat off stiff competition from rival applications across the country to stage at least one match during the tournament.
The 14-nation event is already being seen as a catalyst that will help to boost the popularity of rugby league at school and grassroots levels as well as providing a focal point for a range of other community activities.
Saints chairman Eamonn McManus said: “This is a major and well deserved boost for St Helens and we should all do everything we can to support the games which we are awarded – as well as the wider tournament itself.
“It’s a one-off opportunity for the town and for the club to showcase an international sporting event in our fabulous new stadium.
“It also gives us a chance to attract new fans to the sport and to Langtree Park.
“We should all get behind this tournament with the enthusiasm that our wonderful sport deserves and also see this as an opportunity to show the region and the country just what St Helens now has to offer major international sporting events.”
Council leader Marie Rimmer was equally delighted at the news.
She added: “We are very hopeful of hosting one of the premier teams.
“This international honour really puts our borough on the world map.
“And where better to stage it than at our brand new world class rugby stadium?”