By Ian Golden, Date: 12/3/13
School children from Neath got their hands on the Rugby League World Cup recently when the famous old trophy made a whistle-stop tour around Wales.
The trophy was only in the area for a few hours, so two schools, Neath Primary and Tonnau Primary, were selected at random to have the 59-year old piece of silverware at their establishments.
Both schools have entered the South Wales Scorpionsâ€™ Primary Schools Rugby League tournament so were perfect choices for the occasion. The â€œGnoll Tigersâ€ and â€œTeam Tonnauâ€ Rugby League squads had their photographs taken with the World Cup and all very much enjoyed the experience.
Gnoll Tigers player, Connor Moriarty said: â€œItâ€™s just amazing as you see it on TV and I thought Iâ€™d never get to hold it. Itâ€™s an honour to actually be with it.
â€œIâ€™d love to go the Wales v Cook Islands game later in the year. I live so close so I can walk to the ground.â€
His team-mate, Ciaran Comerford added: â€œItâ€™s astonishing as Iâ€™ve watched the Rugby League World Cup on TV. Iâ€™ve watched the rugby union one too. Iâ€™ve always looked up to the players in both codes and itâ€™s astonishing to have it here.
â€œI play both rugby union and league in schools and I enjoy both. I hope to go to the World Cup game here in Neath in November.â€
Scorpionsâ€™ coach Dave Clark said: â€œWeâ€™d have loved it if more schools were able to see the trophy and weâ€™re sorry we couldnâ€™t visit more schools, but for those who did see it, this was a great experience for them.
â€œIâ€™m really pleased with how the schools are welcoming Rugby League into their curriculum and everyone seems very enthusiastic about coming to the World Cup match we have at The Gnoll and for the sport as a whole.
â€œIâ€™d like to thank RLWC2013 for bringing the trophy down and to the Neath Port Talbot Council for all their support in regards to the Scorpions, our schools work and the World Cup match.â€
The World Cup trophy will be back in Neath for the South Wales Scorpions v Gateshead Thunder match on Sunday 28th July and schools will be invited to this game to have their photo taken with the trophy. It will also be taken around a number of holiday clubs and establishments in the area on other days later in the following week.
Tickets for the Rugby League World Cup match between Wales and Cook Islands at The Gnoll in Neath on Sunday 10th November can be bought by going to www.scorpionsrl.com.