Lebanon stars welcomed to Leigh

Lebanon’s Rugby League World Cup stars were given a warm Wigan Borough welcome at a civic reception at Leigh Town Hall on Wednesday night (5 October).

The Mayor of Wigan Borough, Councillor Marie Morgan, was on hand to formally greet the Cedars players and staff, who will be based in Leigh throughout the tournament and will play two crucial Group C matches at Leigh Sports Village.

The touring party was presented with framed Leigh Centurions and Wigan Warriors shirts and treated to a special performance by a choir of children from Leigh’s Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School.

Councillor Keith Cunliffe, Deputy Leader of Wigan Council, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to have the Lebanon squad with us at Leigh Town Hall and we wish them the very best of luck for what is shaping up to be a really fantastic World Cup!

“Kick-off is just around the corner now and we can’t wait to see the team in action along with the other competing nations. We’re proud to be Lebanon’s home from home for the next few weeks and we know they’ll be made very welcome by the people of Leigh.

“I’m sure local Rugby League fans will turn out in force for their games at the LSV and get right behind them – just like they did with Portugal at the UEFA Women’s Euros in the summer. It should all make for a fabulous atmosphere.”

Lebanon vice-captain Adam Doueihi, speaking on behalf of the squad, said: “It’s very special to be welcomed by the Mayor and we’re very humbled to be based in Leigh and to be able to use the training facilities here.

“Hopefully we can get some local support and we can be their second favourite team behind England. Fans always like supporting underdogs and we’re one of the underdogs in this tournament.”

Lebanon, who currently sit 13th in the international rankings, begin their World Cup campaign against New Zealand at Warrington on Sunday 16 October before returning to Leigh Sports Village for clashes against Ireland (Sunday 23 October) and Jamaica (Sunday 30 October).

The LSV will also play host to Wales v Cook Islands on Wednesday 19 October.

The photo above shows the Lebanese squad with the Mayor of Wigan, the Deputy Leader and other Wigan Council representatives at Leigh Town Hall.