THE St Helens Reporter is calling on all Saints fans to back the club’s bid to host games during the next Rugby League World Cup.
The international tournament is set to be hosted by England and Wales in October and November 2013.
And St Helens Council has already joined forces with Saints to press the case for the new stadium, currently under construction, as one of the host venues.
Many fans will still remember how New Zealand took on Papua New Guinea at the old Knowsley Road stadium back in the group stage of the 1995 tournament.
But the focus of the new bid is to use the tournament as a catalyst for improving physical activity levels in the community and, in particular, to increase the number of local people playing rugby league.
Saints chief executive Tony Colquitt said: “By working together, the club, the Council and many community partners are extremely keen to host and present borough and our fantastic new stadium to the rest of the world.
“We also recognise that staging a game will also have economic benefit for a range of businesses in the in the area.”
Deputy council leader Barrie Grunewald added: “St Helens has a rich Rugby league history with Saints at the heart of its community. Our warm, friendly welcome to visitors, along with our strong sporting heritage and vibrant amateur rugby league clubs puts us in a fantastic position to be successful in the bidding process.
“In these tough financial times the St Helens bid has been developed to bring together a range of activities that can be delivered within existing budgets and we are aiming for the event to be cost neutral.
“I would urge all residents, whether they are rugby fans or not, to get behind this bid and help put St Helens firmly on the map.”