On This Day: 2008 Rugby League World Cup Opening Ceremony

With the Four Nations just days away we've been looking back through the international footy archives and discovered today marks the 8th anniversary of the 2008 Rugby League World Cup Opening Ceremony held at Sydney Football Stadium.

It was a special day for the Rabbitohs as we celebrated the diversity of our Club with seven players picked to take part in the tournament.

David Fa’alogo, Issac Luke and David Kidwell representated New Zealand; Fetuli Talanoa, Manase Manuokafoa and Eddie Paea represented Tonga; while Nigel Vagana became the Club’s seventh International captain when he led the Samoan team.

On a Sunday night the Sydney Football Stadium hosted the Opening Ceremony of the World Cup. It started with Greg Inglis reciting a speech about "Playing Fair".

Following Inglis' speech there was an Aboriginal Smoking ceremony to welcome all the athletes and participants. This included a rather large sized Rainbow Serpent which represented the Aboriginal Dreamtime.

 

The last part of the ceremony involved a performance of the Rugby League World Cup anthem "Hero" by Natalie Bassingthwaighte.

A curtain raiser to the Australia vs. New Zealand match included an Indigenous Australian squad playing against New Zealand Māori which featured four Rabbitohs for the Australian Indigenous Dreamtime Team: Dean Widders, Beau Champion, Chris Sandow and 2009 signing Rhys Wesser. The Indigenous Dreamtime team won the day 34-26 over the New Zealand Māori side.

 

See the shots from the tournament below!