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Looking ahead to the return of the Rugby World Cup

EXCITING TIMES: Jamaica are the most recent team to secure their place in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup

THE Rugby League World Cup (RLWC2021) will head back to England in 2021.

It will be a breakthrough moment in the sport’s history with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments being staged simultaneously for the first time.

The three tournaments will take place across 21 venues throughout England.

The venues, which were announced in January this year, work their way around the country from St James’ Park in Newcastle for the men’s opening ceremony, to Liverpool where the city will host the wheelchair final at the M&S Bank Arena and the women’s opening ceremony at Anfield, while the sport will also go to the Emirates Stadium in London for the men’s semi-final, the first sport other than football to play at the stadium.

COMPETITION

The women’s and men’s tournaments will close the five weeks of the competition with a double header final at Old Trafford.

Both the women’s and wheelchair competitions will be contested by two groups of four teams while the men’s tournament will see 16 teams compete across four groups.

Some 11 teams have already qualified for the men’s tournament, with Jamaica the most recent nation to secure their RLWC2021 place – the first time they have qualified for the tournament.

The remaining five nations will be confirmed later this year with the draws for each tournament taking place in November 2019.

RLWC2021 will be the most visible global rugby league event in history with all 31 games in the men’s competition being broadcast live on the BBC and every second of the women’s and wheelchair competitions free to watch online.

With over two years to go, the tournament has already made significant strides to deliver their aim to organise the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup. As well as the host announcements in January, the tournament recently announced their legacy programme, InspirationALL 2021, which consists of three core pillars:

EmpoweredBy RLWC2021 – the volunteer programme where an energetic and welcoming workforce will be recruited across each community in the host regions to help make the tournament a success.

CreatedBy2021 – the facilities programme where £10million of funding will be given back to the community in large- and small-scale grants – from kit and equipment to new club houses, this will deliver a real tangible legacy

InspiredBy RLWC2021 – a wider range of activities that links the tournament to initiatives including dance, choir, culture, public health, trade, education, literacy and much more. Within the InspiredBy programme is the International Development Programme, which is partnered with the RLIF and UK Sport with the aim of sharing knowledge in the sport and promoting trade between nations.

EXCITING

Last year saw the team visit the Netherlands and Papua New Guinea to deliver a series of workshops and this year the team is planning trips to Jamaica, South America, Africa and Europe.


EXCITING CHALLENGE: Jon Dutton was appointed chief executive of the event in 2017

Jon Dutton, chief executive of RLWC2021, who is tasked with leading the team, pictured below left, said: “It’s a hugely exciting challenge staging three tournaments at the same time.

“We must inspire and engage with a new audience to achieve our goals and have a number of significant initiatives that we will use to do that.

“2019 will be another big year as we continue to build momentum ahead of some significant milestones, including our ticket ballot which will go live next year.”

For more information and to receive ticket alerts, news and details of venues and events, sign up to the newsletter at https://rlwc2021. com/get-involved/sign-meup

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