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OZ08 World Cup Tour Down Under

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OZ08 World Cup Tour Down Under


World Cup Tour Down Under

The 2008 Rugby League World Cup in Australia was graced by more than 230 England fans travelling round the world on OZ08 supporters’ tours.

Organised and operated by David Howes, the former Great Britain and England Manager, and Traveleads, the official RFL travel specialists, OZ08 packages catered for five, four and three week trips.

Accompanying the lifetime experiences were OZ08 Tour Ambassadors Shaun McRae, the current Salford City Reds Coach; Garry Schofield OBE, most capped Great Britain player and former Test captain; and Mick Morgan, ex-England International and Man of Steel. Plus OZ08 tour leaders David Howes and James Rowan, from Traveleads.

The OZ08 tours followed England in the 10-team World Cup qualifiers and took in both semi-finals and the Final between Australian and against-the-odds victors New Zealand.

Sanctioned as The RFL’s official Supporters Tours, OZ08 had exclusive access to the England squad. A highlight of the tour was a two-hour meeting with Coach Tony Smith and the England players at a barbeque on the riverside in Newcastle in the build up to their qualifying game with New Zealand.

The OZ08 tour bases were Townsville, Melbourne, Sydney, a choice of Manly or Cairns for a chill out break and Brisbane, with roughly a week at each venue.

Top class Rydges and Novotel hotels were utilised, along with Australia’s leading bus company Murrays and highly rated airlines Emirates and Singapore.

Events and excursions, a keynote experience on Howes Etc/Traveleads tours, included:

  • A tour of Townsville and Magnetic Island
  • A private tour of Melbourne sporting venues, including guided tours of Melbourne Cricket Ground and Melbourne Storm
  • A private cruise on the River Yarra
  • A day at the Melbourne Derby at Flemington Racecourse
  • Melbourne Cup day at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney
  • Private Sydney Harbour Bridge climbs
  • A visit to Blue Mountains
  • Private guided tour of Sydney’s Olympic Stadium
  • Private four-hour cruise on Sydney Harbour, including food and drink
  • BBQ at Lake Macquerie Yacht Club and tour of Newcastle
  • Tour of Sydney’s Eastern Beaches
  • Surf training and OZ08 Volleyball Challenge on Manly Beach
  • Private tour of Manly Sea Eagles facilities
  • Day tour of Kurunda, including train and cable car trips
  • Day cruise to Great Barrier Reef
  • Day tour of the Sunshine Coast, including Mooloolaba and Noosa
  • Day tour of the Gold Coast, including visit to Gold Coast Titans’ new stadium at Robina and evening dinner at Titans’ supporters club
  • Day trip to Australia Zoo
  • Private photo session with the World Cup
  • OZ08 Farewell party

Another Howes Etc/Traveleads calling card is the presence of Rugby League stars from the world of Rugby League making personal appearances throughout the tours. OZ08 was graced by a galaxy of big names including:

  • Graham Murray, former Coach of New South Wales, North Queensland Cowboys, Sydney Roosters and Leeds Rhinos
  • Four North Queensland players, headed by former Bradford Bulls centre Ben Harris
  • Ian Millward, Assistant Coach of Canberra Raiders and formerly serving North Queensland Cowboys, Wigan Warriors and St. Helens
  • Sky Tv presenters Eddie Hemmings and Mike Stephenson
  • Melbourne Storm staffmen Robbie Kearns, Greg Brentnall and Frank Ponissi
  • South Sydney and former Hull FC Chief Executive Shane Richardson
  • Brian Noble, former Great Britain and current Wigan Warriors Coach
  • Justin Morgan, Coach of Hull Kingston Rovers
  • Stuart Raper, former Coach of Cronulla, Wigan Warriors and Castleford Tigers
  • Russell Smith, ex-Test referee
  • Malcolm Reilly, former Coach of Great Britain and Newcastle Knights, Leeds, Castleford and Huddersfield
  • Newcastle Knights stalwarts Paul Harrogan, Danny Buderas, Mark Glanville and Brad Godden
  • Max Krilich, former Captain of Australian and Manly Sea Eagles
  • Frank Stanton, ex-Coach of Australia, Manly Sea Eagles, Balmain Tigers and North Sydney
  • Bradley Clyde, former Australia, Canberra Raiders and Leeds Rhinos
  • Adrian Vowles, Man of Steel and formerly with Castleford Tigers, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Leeds Rhinos
  • Tommy Bishop, former Great Britain and St. Helens scrum half
  • Gold Coast residents and former players, Graham Eadie, Steve Martin, Bob Arnold and Keith Neller

Innovations for OZ08 were the production of a pre-tour Social Diary brochure and flat pan, Tip Sheet and personalised OZ08 identity cards, which obtained discounts at selected bars, restaurants and shops throughout the tour.

By demand, an OZ08 Reunion dinner was organised for 28th March 2009 at the Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford.

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