Wor Flags to play major role in England’s Rugby League World Cup opener with ‘spectacular' St James’s Park display
England’s men's side kick-off the competition when they host Samoa on Saturday October 15 (2:30pm kick-off) at St James’s Park.
The competition is set to be the most inclusive tournament of its kind with men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions taking place simultaneously across the country.
Newcastle’s flourishing rugby league scene, courtesy of the work done by Newcastle Thunder and across the grassroots, means the north east has been chosen to host the opening match and ceremony, with Wor Flags set to play a major role.
Ahead of kick-off, both the England and Samoa flags will be displayed in the Gallowgate and Leazes stand with flags spread out across the stadium depicting north east icons and landmarks to celebrate the heritage of the local area.
Newcastle Thunder general manager and Wor Flags volunteer Jordan Robinson wants to see the region play its part in what could be a momentous day on Tyneside.
Robinson said: "We can't wait to be part of a huge Geordie welcome to the Rugby League World Cup. Our displays always make a big impact whenever Newcastle United play and we are sure it will be the same for England v Samoa.
"We are asking for a few more volunteers from the toon faithful to help out on the day waving the flags. They will get to watch a World Cup right here at St James' Park and be part of history.
"Thanks to the generous donation from RLWC2021 we will be able to produce even more flags post tournament, ensuring a real legacy for our fans."
Newcastle is no stranger to hosting major Rugby League events having hosted six of the last seven editions of Super League’s Magic Weekend.
St James’s Park also hosted games during the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup and proved to be a great hit with travelling supporters.
And that should be no different this time around with RLWC2021 revenue director Mick Hogan revealing Wor Flags will help to create an ‘unbelievable atmosphere’ ahead of kick-off.
Hogan said: "We've seen the incredible displays that Wor Flags have produced at St James' Park in the past, so we're absolutely thrilled that they are on board to help make our opening day even more special. We're delighted that we can contribute to the group that will allow them to increase their support of the club.
"It's going to be an unbelievable atmosphere as we launch the tournament and one not to be missed."
The opening game between England and Samoa will be the only match played at St James’s Park during the tournament, however, Kingston Park, home of Newcastle Thunder, will play host to men’s Group B games involving Scotland, Italy and Fiji.
Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium will also play host to a match between Tonga and the Cook Islands with the final of both the men’s and women’s competition set for a double-header at Old Trafford on Saturday November 19.