TWO EXTRA SPECIAL GUESTS
The Ricoh Arena is preparing to welcome two extra special guests for the Four Nations match between Australia and New Zealand next month – a bride and groom.
Deborah Wilson, 54, and big Australia rugby league fan Greg Papa, 62, will be stopping off in their wedding attire to take in the heavyweight clash between the Kangaroos and the Kiwis on Saturday, November 5 (kick-off 8pm).
The couple met back in April 2015 at the City Church in Coventry, and will tie the knot at Laurence Saunders Road Baptist Church in Radford earlier that day, followed by a reception at the neighbouring community hall.
The newlyweds will then have to depart their 100-strong wedding party and race down to the Ricoh Arena to see Greg’s beloved team take on their old rivals.
Greg, who is originally from Sydney and is now a horticulturist at Kings Lodge in Nuneaton, said: “I’m a big rugby league fan and support West Tigers back in Australia, and I found out through one of their newsletters that Australia were playing New Zealand on my wedding day and in the same city – I couldn’t believe my luck.
“I’ve spoken to Debbie quite a bit about rugby league just so she knows what she’s letting herself in for once we’re married, so when this fixture came up she said that we had to do it.
“We’re fairly confident we’ll be finished in enough time to make it for kick off. I’m really looking forward to the game which will be very intense.
“After many years of us beating the Kiwis they can actually beat us now, so I expect it to be a close affair.
“I have a lot of Kiwi friends back in Australia and I’ve met one or two over here, so hopefully my boys can pull it out of the bag for me to top off my special day off and give me the bragging rights.”
Debbie, who is from Earlsdon and is a Locksmith at the ExtraCare Charitable Trust helping to improve dementia patients’ quality of life, added: “Everything has fallen into place brilliantly for us. Both I and Greg are devout Christians and thank God for bringing us together at church, and we think God has even played a part in adding this extra treat into the day for us.”
Australia versus New Zealand is the final game of a Four Nations double-header, which will see England take on Scotland earlier that same evening at the Ricoh Arena at 5.30pm.
For more information and to book tickets for the day of international action go to www.rugby-league.com/tickets