Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman welcomes the appointment today of one hundred volunteer Community Ambassadors for the Rugby League World Cup 2017.

“The tournament is shaping up to be a major event for New Zealand. Organisers are forecasting over 6,000 international visitors, who are expected to contribute around $4.8 million to our economy,” says Dr Coleman.

“The appointment of Community Ambassadors from across the country will help to ensure our co-hosting of rugby league’s biggest international tournament realises its full potential.

“In particular I’d like to acknowledge the appointment of Sir Peter Leitch as the Rugby League World Cup’s chief ambassador in New Zealand. Sir Peter is surely one of the country’s most vocal cheerleaders for the sport.

“Host regions can look forward to showcasing their local attractions to visitors as well as the economic boost the matches will provide.

“Having games in Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton and Wellington gives more fans than ever before the opportunity to attend international rugby league here in New Zealand, and for visitors to enjoy all our wonderful country has to offer.

“The tournament will be broadcast to more than 110 countries, providing a fantastic opportunity to showcase New Zealand to the world.

“New Zealand has a proud and successful track record of delivering world-class international events, and the staging of this tournament will further build on this.”

New Zealand is co-hosting the tournament with Australia and hosting partner Papua New Guinea. The opening game will be held in Melbourne on 27 October, with New Zealand hosting its first game at Mt. Smart in Auckland the following day between the Kiwis and Samoa. In total seven games will be held across four New Zealand cities.

The Community Ambassadors were announced at an event in Auckland today. The full tournament draw and further details are available on the Rugby League World Cup 2017 website:

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