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13 Jun 2013

England selects Loughborough University as Rugby League World Cup 2013 base

The Rugby Football League has announced that the England squad will be based at Loughborough University in the build-up to and during Rugby League World Cup 2013.

The England team will arrive in Loughborough in mid-October to commence their preparations for the tournament that will bring together the top 14 rugby league teams in the world to compete over five weeks in venues across England, Wales, Ireland and France.

The announcement was made at this week’s Loughborough camp, held in preparation for England’s match against the ‘Exiles’ - a team comprising the cream of overseas talent drawn from Super League - being played on Friday 14th June in Warrington.

England have been frequent visitors to the University since their first preparation camp back in October 2010.

Speaking of the initial decision to make Loughborough their preparation base, Steve McNamara, England Head Coach, said:

“We chose Loughborough for a number of reasons.  Firstly we were looking for an elite sporting environment, which Loughborough fits the bill.

“We also wanted to take the players out their comfort zone away from normal environments. Plus in the past we have been a bit nomadic, so we wanted to create our own identity here.”

Kevin Sinfield, the England Rugby League Captain added:

“There’s a familiarly with us coming to Loughborough now. Over the last two and half years we have built and improved a lot having this as our base.

“To be in this sort of environment where everybody here is trying to learn, improve or better themselves, we fit in great because that’s what we are trying to do.

“The (Burleigh Court) hotel is fantastic and they really look after us. The facilities here are as good as you can get anywhere and really suit what we need.”

For the University the announcement builds on the momentum from hosting Team GB last year prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Peter Keen, Director of Sport at Loughborough University, said:

“It is hugely significant to have a team like England Rugby League here preparing for the biggest matches of their lives.

“For me, it validates everything that we are about and stand for. It confirms that we have what you need to operate at the highest level in sport, that we are able to put together the kind of environment, package and support that makes sense for them, given the choices they have, to come and prepare here.

“For us it is also that opportunity to learn, to study and to interact with sport practice at the very highest level.  It’s that classic win win.”

The Rugby League World Cup 2013 starts on 26th October with a clash against fierce rivals England and Australia at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.  The final will be played at Old Trafford, Manchester on 30th November.

Further information, including ticket details, can be found on the Rugby League World Cup 2013 website at http://www.rlwc2013.com/world_cup

−ENDS−

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 13/108

1) Photographs from the announcement are available on request.

2) Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. It has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league, and in recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 11 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

Contact for all media enquiries

Rob Knott
PR Officer (Sport)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: R.A.Knott@lboro.ac.uk