Parliament Praises Rugby League Festival of World Cups
A Parliamentary Motion has been tabled praising all involved in the recent Rugby League Festival of World Cup.
The Festival, which has been hailed as a “wonderfully uplifting celebration of international rugby league” by RFL CEO Nigel Wood, featured 25 teams representing twelve nations in five different tournaments. Fifty-five games were played over a two-week period, culminating in five finals over the weekend of July 13 and 14.
The Motion was tabled by Parliamentary Rugby League Group Chairman, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland, who presented the Student Rugby League World Cup trophy as part of the Finals Day featuring the Police, Women’s and Student finals at Headingley Stadium. Afterwards, he said:
“The Festival of World Cups has been a fantastic showcase for our sport and congratulations to all involved in creating such a wonderful spectacle, including the players, coaches, staff and the fantastic volunteers in the UK and from the participating nations.”
Teams representing Great Britain, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Serbia, South Africa, Russia, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand took part.
Australia had an amazing festival, the Jillaroos beating holders New Zealand 22-12 to win the Women’s World Cup for the first time; beating holders Fiji by two points to clinch the Police World Cup 18-16; and beating New Zealand 32-22 to win the Armed Forces World Cup at Colchester Garrison. They also overcame a strong England Student side, despite being 10-0 down at half time, to win 26-16 and deny England a first ever Student World Cup victory. France took the Wheelchair World Cup from holders England in an epic 42-40 final held in Medway in Kent where the trophy was presented by Parliamentarian and Paralympic legend Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.
The Armed Forces Final was witnessed by Group Secretariat Mark Ramsdale who praised the work of the combined services in the UK and particularly Colchester Garrison for their support in hosting the tournament:
“Those in Colchester Garrison have done a terrific job in not only providing excellent sporting facilities for players to train and play on; it is obvious how well they have hosted the Great Britain, Australian, New Zealand and Serbian teams – games were played in just the right spirit and I am sure longstanding friendships have been made because of the hosts and all involved.”
The Rugby League World Cup 2013 takes place in October and November and is the first major international sporting tournament to take place in the UK since the London 2012 Olympics.
RFL CEO Nigel Wood said earlier that “The Festival of World Cups has been a wonderfully uplifting celebration of international rugby league and showcased the amazing diversity and excellence that can be found across the whole sport.”
“We have seen some fantastic matches, played in a great competitive spirit, with many outcomes going right to the hooter, including the finals of both the Wheelchair World Cup and Police World Cup being decided by a two-point margin.
“The successful Festival of World Cups has undoubtedly played its part in a momentous year for the sport in this country, with the Rugby League World Cup to follow in the autumn.”
The full text of the Motion reads:
That this House congratulates all those involved in 2013 Festival of World Cups; recognises the enormous challenges in delivering five world cup tournaments with 55 games for the Armed Forces, Police, Students, Women and Wheelchair; praises Tournament Director Julia Lee all her team and all the volunteers involved in preparing a wonderful spectacle of sport; applauds all players, coaches and staff representing the sides from Great Britain, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Serbia, South Africa, Russia, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand for making the tournament such a wonderful spectacle of international sport and friendship; congratulates Australia as winners of the Armed Forces World Cup; congratulates Australia the winners of the Police World Cup; congratulates Australia as winners of the Student Rugby League World Cup; congratulates Australia as winners of the Women’s Rugby League World Cup; congratulates France as winners of the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup.