Carl Hall: I’m banging the World Cup drum for Doncaster

New Zealand in action at the Keepmoat Stadium in 2013.
New Zealand in action at the Keepmoat Stadium in 2013.
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The second it was announced that the Keepmoat Stadium had made the shortlist of venues for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, I was onto the hierarchy at the RFL banging the drum for Doncaster.

Good on them getting it. Those Americans chucked their hat in the ring so it was a real contest and the RFL had to work really hard to win it.

The first thing I did was ring them to congratulate them - and within the next breath it was ‘we’re on!’.

They know what we’re doing here at Doncaster and what I’m trying to achieve here.

And they know we’ll work extremely hard to fulfil all of their obligations - so I’d like to think we’ve got a big chance.

We were disappointed to miss out on a game in 2013 but we’ve done a lot of work since then.

We had the Challenge Cup semi-final here a few months ago and the RFL also saw what we did when we had the friendly between the Kiwis and the Cook Islands.

It wasn’t just about the game but it was about everything that went with it during the build-up. I remember the video of the school kids doing the Haka going viral.

We’ve got a pedigree and that was just for a friendly.

So for a full-on World Cup game I’m pretty sure the Keepmoat Stadium would be sold out.

I’ve already made contact with the powers-that-be at the council and they’re fully supportive of it. It also fits in with our five-year plan here at Club Doncaster.

The RFL wants full stadiums so they’re going to need a few like this. You only need your bigger stadiums for New Zealand, Australia and England. This place is ideal.

Getting New Zealand down here will always be a personal highlight - I’ll probably never top that - but to get a World Cup game for Doncaster would be something I’d be incredibly proud of.

n It was really nice to read Paul Cooke’s comments about Doncaster RLFC in his new biography, which the Free Press picked up on last week.

Paul’s a great bloke.

It was fantastic to bring him back into the sport. He would have been a big loss to the game otherwise.

Like I said the day I brought him to Doncaster, Paul will become one of the best coaches in the game over the next five to ten years. I still firmly believe that.