Rugby League World Cup 2021 organisers today (15 July) confirmed that the trailblazing event will go ahead as scheduled in October and November 2021 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.
At a pivotal moment for international Rugby League, tournament organisers have worked relentlessly to provide certainty and clarity by tackling the significant challenges presented by the pandemic.
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.
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 recognise there are still many challenges ahead, but we will work relentlessly and will take the most extraordinary measures with the support of all involved to stage the tournament in 100 days time.
“Despite the adversity we have faced, we have never lost sight of our core purpose of making a positive impact on people’s lives. Our social impact programme has and will continue to be a beacon of much needed positivity and hope in communities across England.
“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.”
Council leader, Cllr Russ Bowden said: “RLWC have been working tirelessly to ensure that the tournament can go ahead as planned, whilst considering the safety of the players, staff and spectators.
“We and all our Warrington partners are working together to deliver a fantastic, inspiring and safe RLWC to our town, its residents and all the visitors to the area.
“We look forward to playing host to the Papua New Guinea team from October and welcoming all the fans who will be attending the three men’s games being held at Halliwell Jones Stadium.”
Cabinet member for community and leisure, Cllr Tony Higgins said: “We’re delighted that the RLWC tournament can go ahead. Warrington is looking forward to welcoming the incredible international teams and all the excitement that the world cup will bring.
“This tournament will be another point of pride in Warrington’s history and is likely to churn out many can’t-miss, unforgettable moments. It will be a brilliant opportunity for our communities to come together following what has been a difficult period for our town. I hope many of our residents and groups will be inspired by the world-class spectacle I am sure we are set to witness!”