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Bolton to pass on world cup tips

Sally Bolton, the woman behind rugby league's best-ever World Cup, is ready to pass on some tips to rugby union.
Bolton to pass on world cup tips
by AAP

By Ian Laybourn LONDON, Dec 2 PA - Sally Bolton, the woman behind rugby league's best-ever World Cup, is ready to pass on some tips to rugby union.

Bolton, the Rugby Football League's director of events and projects who was appointed as World Cup general manager, saw three years' preparatory work come to fruition with a tournament that broke box office records and has been widely recognised as the most successful in the game's history.

Matches were sold out from Warrington to Halifax and from Toulouse to Old Trafford, where the crowd of 74,468 for Saturday's final set a new record for international rugby league.

The aggregate attendance of 457,483 fans for the 28 matches fell short of Bolton's ambitious target of half a million, but it was a far cry from the 238,855 that watched the 31 matches at the ill-fated 2000 World Cup.

Even without a headline sponsor, it is thought the tournament will go close to doubling the STG2.0 million ($A3.6 million) profit generated by the last World Cup, held in Australia in 2008.

It may be on a larger scale, but organisers of the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup know they can learn lessons from their league counterparts.

"We've been talking to them for quite a while, sharing ideas on things they were planning in their early phases," Bolton said.

"We've got another debrief meeting with them in the next 10 days, where they want to come in and chat to us about what we've learnt."

Generous ticket pricing is considered a key factor behind the success of RLWC 2013, but Bolton also points to new initiatives that paid off.

"One of our objectives was to get to new markets and new people who might not be interested in rugby league to attract them to the game," she said.

"We worked hard on our education programme and our dance programme, things which have nothing to do with the sport, but if you're going to go out there and attract new markets you've got to attract them for a different reason."

All the profits are being handed over to the Rugby League International Federation, who hope to establish a full-time office to develop the international game ahead of the 2017 World Cup, which will be hosted either jointly by Australia and New Zealand or by South Africa.


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