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Welcome to Wigan: A Town Hall toast for Team Tonga
Wednesday 16th October, 2013

The Tongan rugby league team is to be honoured with a civic reception at Wigan Town Hall.

The international side, which includes some of the best players in the world, will be based in Leigh during the Rugby League World Cup, which kicks-off later this month. They’ll be welcomed to the borough by the Deputy Mayor Phyllis Cullen and a host of local dignitaries on Tuesday 22 October at 6pm.

Tonga will be training at the Leigh Sports Village throughout the tournament and play the Cook Islands at the stadium on Tuesday 5 November. The team includes Super League stars Ukuma Ta’ai, who plays for Huddersfield, Willie Manu, who plays for St. Helens, and Mickey Paea, who plays for Hull KR. The squad also includes a host of players who will be familiar to followers of Australian rugby league.

They’ll be greeted at the Town Hall by representatives from Wigan Warriors and Leigh Centurions. Pupils from St. George’s Primary School in Atherton will sing a special song.

Cllr Phyllis Cullen, Deputy Mayor of Wigan Borough, said: “I’m really looking forward to meeting the Tongan team and officially welcoming them to Wigan Borough. It’ll be an honour to host them at the Town Hall.

“We’re thrilled they have chosen to be based in Leigh for the duration of the tournament. I’m sure they will be delighted with the facilities at their disposal at Leigh Sports Village. It’s an excellent asset for the community and one we are all rightly proud of.

“Excitement is really building ahead of the Rugby League World Cup. It’s the biggest international team sport competition to be held in the UK this year and I can’t wait for it to kick-off. Of course, as a proud English woman, I’ll be backing my home country to win but I’ll be supporting Tonga too.”

Wigan Borough is hosting two matches during the World Cup. One of the quarter finals will be played at the DW Stadium on Saturday 16 November. Tickets for both games are on sale now. They can be bought at www.rlwc2013.com/tickets or by calling the 24-hour ticket hotline on 0844 847 2013.

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