Darren Lockyer: Hull will be great stage for Rugby League World Cup
RUGBY league legend Darren Lockyer has backed MS3 Craven Park to be a great venue for next year's World Cup.
Lockyer, a World Cup winner with Australia in 2000, was at the stadium for England's 44-6 win over France last weekend, and was impressed with the whole occasion.
Papua New Guinea will play both their group games at Hull KR's home ground against France and Samoa next year, and Lockyer feels east Hull is the perfect venue.
"The stand opposite the tunnel was pretty impressive, for that number of people to create the atmosphere they did was great," Lockyer told the Mail.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"I know the ground is being redeveloped and it will be a good World Cup ground, especially for the games between developing nations.
"The atmosphere and the facilities were great and it will be ideal for the matches picked to be played there.
"People will enjoy the experience."
Lockyer feels the choice of Hull as the base for Papua New Guinea was also ideal, given the links between the club and country through KR legend Stanley Gene.
"That's all part of the World Cup idea that towns and cities adopt a country for the tournament," he said.
"I know from experience that Papua New Guinea don't die wondering, they play hard and tough. The locals can expect to see some good rugby."
Lockyer has been kept busy on his recent tour of England promoting next year's tournament.
He took time out of his busy schedule to visit amateur club side Skirlaugh on Wednesday night to take part in a question and answers session, organised by Andy Dickinson.
Lockyer was joined by former Australia team-mate Mark O'Meley, from Hull FC, as well as FC's Chris Green and Hull KR hooker Josh Hodgson.
Lockyer said he was aware of the passion Hull people have for rugby league and this latest trip was a further example of that.
"I've probably spent more time in Hull on this visit than any other place and I've always got a sense of the passion Hull people have for their rugby league," he said.
"The rivalry is big here even though there is football here too. It's a great city to be hosting World Cup games at both grounds."
Having plotted England's downfall during his 14-year Kangaroos career, Lockyer admits England have every reason to be optimistic going into next year's World Cup.
And it's not just the fact Steve McNamara's side will have home advantage that has Lockyer speaking highly of England.
"England have a lot of positives," he said.
"They have players coming back from the NRL and injured players returning. The last two times they have contested a final against Australia in England they have been close up to the 65th minute. They now have to find that last 15."