World Cup Wednesdays: Walker says young stars can shine on biggest stage

Leeds Rhinos representatives with England at the 2000 Rugby League World Cup Back Row: Steve 'Scrapper' Carter, Adrian Morley, Andy Hay, Keith Senior, Francis Cummins, Damian McGrath Front Row: Chev Walker, Kevin Sinfield, Darren Fleary

Each Wednesday in the build up the 2021 Rugby League World Cups, we will have a special feature as we build up to the biggest ever World Cup in the game’s history looking at those who helped create the legacy and who will be aiming to make their own history this Autumn.

Earlier this week, England Head Coach Shaun Wane named his initial 35-man squad for 2021 with Leeds centre Harry Newman the youngest member of the squad at 21. Walker had just turned 18 when he made his debut for England in the opening game of the 2000 World Cup against Australia at Twickenham.

With a host of young players getting the chance to play in Super League this season, Wane has said that he has not closed the door on anyone forcing their way into the squad which means that someone could still follow in Walker’s footsteps. Back in 2000, when he was named in the squad Walker had only played 17 first-team games and was one of 17 players aged 25 or under, including the captain Andy Farrell and Adrian Morley, who has been appointed vice-captain in the squad.

Recalling the tournament, Walker said, “It was a great group to be part of. We were a group of young lads looking to achieve something special together. I really enjoyed meeting and training with the lads from other clubs but it was great to have a big contingent of players from Leeds in the group as well.

“My debut was very surreal. A year before I had been on the Schoolboys tour to Australia and there I was making my debut up against someone who was a hero of mine back then, Wendell Sailor.

“There is some wonderful experience in the group now with someone like John Bateman having come back and gained experience in the NRL. I can’t wait to see Harry Newman back on the field.”

DON’T MISS OUT ON YOUR TICKET FOR THE 2021 RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP

Tickets for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 are now on General Sale with less than 200 games to go until the opening game when England Men and Samoa Men meet on 23 October at St James’ Park, Newcastle.

The organisers promise to make this the biggest and best tournament, the most inclusive and accessible in modern history with tickets starting at an affordable £2.21 and 80 per cent of tickets priced below £50.

The demand now means that matches across the tournament now have limited availability and tickets for wheelchair matches at Sheffield EIS are currently unavailable. Tickets will be on sale on a first-come, first-served basis until Tuesday 1 June, where tickets will go off sale for a three-week period until Monday 21 June for seat assignment.

Fans who can no longer attend matches will be able to put their tickets on the Official Resale Platform through the ticketing website later in the year. This will be the safest and most secure way to sell tickets at face value and will allow fellow fans to enjoy the unforgettable atmosphere of RLWC2021.

Tournament organisers also remind fans of the ticket refund guarantee for all ticket purchasers should there be restrictions on crowds at the event and to reassure fans in the unfortunate circumstance the event has to be cancelled. More information is available here.

Premium seats and Hospitality experiences are still on sale and available for all matches and will give fans the opportunity to secure a place at the tournament in addition to enjoying the best match day experience each venue has to offer. More details available here.

Fans can also secure their ticket through booking their Squad Trip including accommodation and experiences all in one place – making it easy to plan your trip and giving you a great choice across our host towns and cities. Book Squad Trips now.

For full ticketing details visit rlwc2021.com/tickets

Hospitality 

Premium seats and Hospitality experiences remain on sale and available for all matches in Leeds – giving fans the opportunity to secure a place at the tournament in addition to enjoying the best match day experience each venue has to offer. More details available at rlwc2021.com/hospitality