Rugby League’s newest club will rub shoulders with stars from some of the sport’s most famous teams when the University of Gloucestershire All Golds get their first taste of professional Rugby League in the 2012 Rugby League 9s.
The All Golds were this week confirmed as the third of four new clubs which will enter Championship one in 2013 but before then they will face the likes of Carnegie Challenge Cup holders Wigan Warriors, Championship winners Featherstone Rovers and World Club champions Leeds Rhinos.
A total of 16 clubs will participate in the 2012 Rugby League 9s – the 13 UK-based Super League clubs, Featherstone, Gloucestershire All Golds and a combined Cumbrian team – and RFL Chief Operating Officer Ralph Rimmer believes the high-speed, all-action version of the sport will prove to be a massive hit with players and Rugby League fans alike.
“Rugby League 9s is a fast, exciting and action-packed tournament which provides high quality entertainment for everyone,” he said.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for fans to watch a new dimension of Rugby League midweek and have the chance to see some of the very best young players in the country.
“This is also a fantastic opportunity for the All Golds to experience the cut and thrust of professional competition and we look forward to seeing them in action.”
Warrington Wolves are the current holders of the Rugby League 9s trophy having beaten Cumbria in the 2011 final and Assistant First Team Coach and under-20s Head Coach Richard Marshall is aware that his players do not want to give up their crown lightly.
“Rugby League 9s is a unique idea and a great concept, the players really enjoyed winning the competition last year and it’s something they want to repeat,” said Richard. “We took it very seriously last year and it paid off. We are hoping to get to the finals at Headingley again and we will use the opportunity to showcase some of our up and coming talent.”
Fans can expect plenty of entertainment for all the family throughout the 9s tournament, which kicks off on Tuesday May 29 and features four weekly rounds on Tuesday evenings of festival-style fixtures played at a range of venues culminating in the 2012 Grand Final at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Tuesday June 26.
The 2012 tournament is divided in to an East Division and a West Division. Warrington Wolves, Cumbria, Salford City Reds, St Helens, London Broncos, Widnes Vikings and Gloucestershire All Golds make up the Western Division and Hull KR, Hull FC, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Castleford Tigers, Featherstone Rovers, Bradford Bulls, Huddersfield Giants and Leeds Rhinos play in the Eastern Division.
The final at Headingley Stadium on Tuesday June 26 will be an eight team event.
Round One: Tuesday May 29
Warrington Festival – Wilderspool Stadium, Wilderspool Causeway: Warrington Wolves, Cumbria, Salford City Reds, St Helens
London Festival – Aldershot Military Stadium,Aldershot: London Broncos, Widnes Vikings, Wigan Warriors, Uni of Gloucestershire All Golds
Hull Festival – Craven Park, Hull: Hull KR, Hull FC, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Castleford Tigers
Featherstone Festival – Big Fella’s Stadium, Featherstone: Featherstone Rovers, Bradford Bulls, Huddersfield Giants, Leeds Rhinos
Round Two: Tuesday June 5
Cumbria Festival – Derwent Park, Workington: St Helens, Warrington Wolves, Salford City Reds, Cumbria
Widnes Festival – Halton Stadium, Widnes: Widnes Vikings, London Broncos, Wigan Warriors, Uni of Gloucestershire All Golds
Leeds Festival – Headingley Stadium, Leeds: Leeds Rhinos, Hull FC, Bradford Bulls, Featherstone Rovers
Castleford Festival – Probiz Coliseum, Castleford: Castleford Tigers, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Hull KR, Huddersfield Giants
Round Three – Tuesday June 12
Salford Festival – City of Salford Stadium, Salford: Salford City Reds, Uni of Gloucestershire All Golds, London Broncos, Warrington Wolves
Cumbria Festival – Craven Park, Barrow: Cumbria, Wigan Warriors, Widnes Vikings, St Helens
Hull Festival – Hull FC Elite Training Centre, Hull: Hull FC, Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls
Wakefield Festival – Rapid Solicitors Stadium, Wakefield: Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Featherstone Rovers, Castleford Tigers
Round Four – Tuesday June 19
Wigan Festival – The Co-operative Community Stadium, Wigan: Wigan Warriors, St Helens, Warrington Wolves, Cumbria
Salford Festival – City of Salford Stadium, Salford: Gloucestershire All Golds, Widnes Vikings, Salford City Reds, London Broncos
Wakefield Festival – Rapid Solicitors Stadium, Wakefield: Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants, Hull FC
Bradford Festival – Odsal Stadium, Bradford: Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers, Hull KR, Featherstone Rovers
Buy a ticket for the 2012 Rugby League 9s Finals Night at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Tuesday June 26 now and you will receive another absolutely free of charge.
This BOGOF offer is for pre-purchased tickets only and will not be available on the day of the game: all complimentary tickets issued will be of equal or lower value to those purchased.
Tickets are available for just £10 adults and £5 concessions by calling Leeds Rhinos Ticket Office on 0871 423 1315 (calls charged at 10p per min – calls from mobiles may vary) or the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113.
For more information: http://www.therfl.co.uk/competitions/nines
Source: University of Gloucestershire