Rugby League World Cup: Steve McCormack hails Cumbria games

World Cup venues may 'help grow game'

Scotland coach Steve McCormack believes Rugby League World Cup games in Cumbria is "huge" for the sport in the region.

McCormack, previously coach at Barrow and Whitehaven, held his squad's pre-tournament training camp in the region.

The Scots play both their group games, against Tonga and Italy, at the 10,000 capacity Derwent Park in Workington.

"The World Cup is a huge opportunity to grow rugby league outside the normal heartlands and to get a couple of games in Cumbria is unbelievable," he said.

The county does not have a professional club playing in Super League but Barrow Raiders, Whitehaven and Workington Town all play in the Championship - the sport's second tier.

At present, there is no promotion and relegation between the two divisions as Super League operates a licensing system, although under current restructuring plans it will return in 2015 when the top flight is cut from 14 to 12 teams.

In the last round of applications for 2012, Barrow were included on the final three-team shortlist but lost out to Widnes.

"The hard work the people of West Cumbria have done to get these games is fantastic and I don't think you can underestimate how important this is to the area," McCormack told BBC Look North.

"We're very proud to have based ourselves here and walking round everyone is stopping us and asking questions. It's a fantastic place to play rugby league and hopefully there's a lasting legacy."

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