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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Barrow Raiders up for the Nines

TOMORROW’S RL Nines tournament at Craven Park is the chance for the Barrow public to show they want World Cup rugby league to come to Furness.

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FLYING WINGER: Barrow Raiders wide man Mike Backhouse in action for Cumbria in the RL Nines at Workington last week JIM DAVIS

Raiders chairman Jimmy Tongue is convinced drawing the spectators through the turnstiles for the feast of fast-paced action will send a strong message to the RFL.

The game’s governing body are currently deciding where to host Scotland’s matches against Italy and Tonga in next year’s competition, after Whitehaven’s proposed Pow Beck Stadium was rejected.

And a large audience for matches involving Cumbria and Super League aces Wigan, St Helens and Widnes tomorrow night would be a boost to the Barrow cause.

“It’s a great line-up of teams who will be playing,” said Tongue.

“It’s really exciting, end-to-end stuff and it is all-action. It really is something that will entertain the crowds throughout the festival.

“If we get a good attendance, I’m hoping the RFL will be looking at this and saying ‘oh yeah, we’re in with a shout here of getting a World Cup game, or maybe both of them’.”

The night promises to provide non-stop action, with six matches being played between 7pm and 9.10pm.

Gates open at 4.30pm, with a programme of pre-match entertainment and barbeques taking place before and between games, including a round of the contest to find RL’s fastest player.

“Darren (Holt, Barrow coach) is working on that to try and get somebody from Barrow to take part,” said Tongue. “He’s mentioning Jamie Butler at the moment!”

Cumbria – set to include a sprinkling of talent from each of the county’s three professional clubs – will open proceedings against Wigan at 7pm and end the night of action against Widnes, with a match against St Helens in between. The three Super League clubs will also play each other, with all games lasting 15 minutes.

Cumbria currently sit fifth in the Western group after two rounds of fixtures – having won three, lost two and drawn one of their matches.

A final series of group games against Wigan, Warrington and St Helens will take place next week at Wigan, with the finals for the best eight teams the following week at Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley home.

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