Rugby League greats to play role in World Cup opening game

Kevin Sinfield and Jason Robinson will bring out the Paul Barrière Trophy as part of a ‘tournament welcome’ at St James’ Park before the opening World Cup game.

England men face Samoa in Newcastle on Saturday, October 15 in front of what organisers hope will be a sell-out crowd.

Ahead of kick-off the three World Cup trophies will be brought out, with former international stars Sinfield and Robinson to deliver the men’s trophy.

RFL President Clare Balding will bring out the women’s trophy alongside Fareeha Usman, a North East resident who has been recognised as a voice for equality and diversity in the community.

And the wheelchair trophy will be delivered by England international and tournament ambassador James Simpson, alongside Paralympic hero Tanni Grey-Thompson.

Beforehand, flag bearers for each of the 32 competing teams will take to the pitch while a to-be-announced headline music act performs on stage. 

World Cup Chief Executive Jon Dutton said: “The Tournament Welcome event will be a celebration of what the tournament stands for, celebrating inclusivity and social impact at the heart of the event, before we welcome some of the world’s best athletes.

“I’d like to thank the six ambassadors who will bring out the three trophies at the end of our celebration. Each individual exemplifies everything that is fantastic about our sport.”

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