Parliamentary Rugby League Group supports 2021 World Cup bid
Members of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group were joined by RFL Director of Projects, Jon Dutton, yesterday evening (5 July) as they discussed England’s bid for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
Peers and MPs were joined by Associate Members in the Palace of Westminster as they heard about the details of the bid, which was announced by the RFL last week.
The host country for the 2021 tournament, which will grow in size to 16 teams and 31 games, will be decided by the Rugby League International Federation in the autumn. If the RFL’s bid is successful, twelve stadiums across the country will be selected to host games from a shortlist. The bid includes plans to host a ‘Festival of Rugby League’ including Women’s and Wheelchair competitions.
Members praised the bid in a motion tabled in the House of Commons, which “congratulates all involved in putting together a compelling bid to return one of the world’s biggest sporting tournaments to Britain.” The motion also hopes that the the Rugby League International Federation “select England as the host for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.”
Group Chair and Member of Parliament for Leeds North West, Greg Mulholland MP, welcomed the announcement, and said “I am delighted that the RFL has confirmed that it will bid for England to host the Rugby League World Cup in 2021. The 2013 World Cup was the most successful to date, and hearing about the detail of the bid, I have no doubt that we will see another great tournament in 2021, following on from the the 2017 World Cup in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, which will help to further build the profile of the sport across the UK.”
Dutton, who has overseen the bid, commented “a successful Rugby League World Cup in 2021 would provide an ideal opportunity to grow rugby league across the nation. If the bid is successful, we hope to build on the success of 2013 to promote the sport to a wider audience both nationally and around the world. The RFL’s ambition is to make the tournament the biggest and most watched in the sport’s history, targeting one million spectators.”
The full text of the motion:
Early Day Motion 289: England 2021 Rugby League World Cup Bid
That this House wholeheartedly supports the Rugby Football League’s bid for England to host the 2021 Rugby League World Cup; congratulates all involved in putting together a compelling bid to return one of the World’s biggest sporting tournaments to the UK; feels that England is best placed to deliver another fantastic sporting spectacle featuring world-class athletes across the main tournament and a Festival of World Cups; recognises the 2013 World Cup held in England and Wales as the most exciting and profitable for the sport since its inception as the Rugby World Cup in 1954; feels strongly a UK-based 2021 Rugby League World Cup will continue Britain’s excellence in international sporting tournaments; encourages Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to support and promote the tournament; and hopes that the Rugby League International Federation select England as the host for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.