Paul Anderson is desperate for the Huddersfield Giants to increase their fan base as a result of the success of the Rugby League World Cup.

Crowds flocked into the group games and quarter-finals, with a capacity 24,000 crowd at the John Smith’s Stadium for the England v Ireland clash three weeks ago.

Over 60,000 tickets have been sold for this weekend’s Wembley double-header when England face New Zealand and Australia take on Fiji, while just a few hundred hospitality tickets remain available for the Old Trafford final the following week.

And Anderson feels the game as a whole needs to capitalise on the extra interest the World Cup has generated.

 

“Because of the success of the World Cup, there’s a real feelgood factor in the sport at the moment,” said Anderson.

“It’s been positive, both on and off the field, and we’ve got to make sure we take full advantage of this.

“It was a wonderful sight to see the John Smith’s Stadium packed out for the England v Ireland game the other week.

“That in itself shows how much interest there is in the area for our sport, and wouldn’t it be good if a big number of those fans who turned up now transferred their support to the Giants!

“After all, we are the Super League Leaders’ Shield winners.

“But whatever happens, it would be a huge, huge shame if crowds in general didn’t increase as a result of this World Cup.”

The Rugby Football League, meanwhile, are continuing to push hard to attract even more fans to Wembley this weekend.

“It’s safe to say that the semi-final against New Zealand is the biggest game in England’s recent history and I am sure coach Steve McNamara and his team will rise to the challenge of meeting the world champions head-on,” said RFL Chairman Brian Barwick.

“I have been mightily impressed with the unstinting effort and meticulous attention to detail that is going into everything the England squad do.

“It has been a long journey to this point and I think it is important that England know they have the entire nation behind them.

“The support shown by England fans, indeed all rugby league supporters so far in the tournament, has been little short of fantastic. They have been joined by many more for whom Rugby League has become a recent passion.

“It would be good to see that support raised a notch or two this week to help England.

“It is difficult to overstate the importance of international success and every England fan now has an opportunity to help us achieve just that by throwing all their weight behind Kevin Sinfield and his teammates.

“I know all about Wembley Stadium and the atmosphere it can produce on the big occasion: undoubtedly, Saturday is one of those occasions.

“I can’t wait!”