With just 100 days to go until the opening match, Rugby League World Cup 2021 organisers have confirmed that the trailblazing event will go ahead as scheduled in October and November.
With 61 matches across three competitions at 21 venues culminating with the men’s and women’s finals at Old Trafford, Manchester on 27 November.
The global event, which sees the men’s, women’s, and wheelchair tournaments taking place simultaneously for the first time, will be played in front of passionate capacity crowds in a celebration of sport.
Organisers have successfully delivered record sponsorship deals, a domestic broadcast deal which means all matches will be live across BBC platforms, and have sold significant overseas broadcast rights.
At the same time, ticket sales have so far exceeded expectations and the positive social contribution to communities, including some of those hardest hit by the pandemic has been extensive.
Jon Dutton, Chief Executive of RLWC2021, said: “We are delighted to be able to provide clarity and certainty to fans, players, partners, media, and those that have supported our journey over the past few years. We have an overwhelming desire to deliver the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup and through our determination and decisiveness, we will be able to achieve this vision.
“We have no doubt that the Rugby League family, along with the 20,021 key workers we have invited, the many fans who will see the action live in the stadiums across England and the millions watching around the world will be part of a unifying celebration of sport and humanity.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“As we reach 100 days to go, the anticipation is building with Rugby League’s biggest competition coming back to England.
“After the challenges of the past 18 months where the positive impact of Rugby League in communities has shone through, the moment when the men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams take to the pitch will be a watershed moment for both the sport and the country.
“I’m delighted that fans can look forward to a festival of Rugby League that promises to inspire new fans and grow the grassroots, and the Government has been pleased to play its part in supporting this incredible inclusive event.”
Councillor Daren Hale, Leader of Hull City Council said:
“It’s fantastic news that this international event is confirmed to go ahead this Autumn. With three great fixtures to come, and Hull playing host to the Fiji team, the city is ready to welcome fans from across the world to the tournament.”
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