Gary Hetherington has said that Headingley Carnegie and the Leeds public face a massive examination this Sunday when international rugby returns to the famous stadium.
Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington has said that Headingley Carnegie and the Leeds public face a massive examination this Sunday when international rugby returns to the famous stadium. Headingley Carnegie hosts a double header of international rugby on Sunday afternoon with the first games of the inaugural Federation Shield. Tonga take on Samoa at 3.45pm, which also doubles up as a World Cup qualifier, before England, whose squad is dominated by Leeds Rhinos players, take on France at 5.45pm. Ticket prices have been designed to reward fans following the domestic season and to give supporters the opportunity to watch international rugby. Adults can gain ground entry for as little as £10 on the day and £5 for concessions. Season ticket holders for any club can save even more with £5 off for adults and junior tickets just £1 if pre-purchased. Fans can purchase tickets now by calling the RFL Hotline on 0870 990 1313 or from the Headingley Carnegie ticket office. However, last years fixture between England and France attracted only 2,609 and Hetherington has warned that if Headingley Carnegie is to be taken seriously as a Test arena again the public will have to show their support for it. He commented, "The greatest players have played Test rugby at Headingley Carnegie over the history of the game and if we are serious about attracting Test match rugby back then the public need to show there is an appetite for it. "We have ambitious plans for the stadium, which included the opening this year of the new Carnegie Stand, and it is our aim to restore Headingley's Test status but events like the Federation Shield are important stepping stones towards that and we need to make a success of them. "The KC Stadium, Galpharm Stadium and JJB Stadium have attracted sell out crowds in recent years and whilst Sunday's games may not be Tri Nations encounters they are still first class matches with a host of top name players in action at an affordable price for the whole family." The last game between Great Britain and either New Zealand and Australia at Headingley Carnegie was back in November 1993 when Andy Farrell made a try scoring debut in a 29-10 win for Great Britain.
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Seven of Rugby League's most celebrated heroes will be in attendance with specific roles at Magic Weekend, the seventh staging of Super League's two-day extravaganza, when the event returns to the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, this weekend.