Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) has today confirmed details regarding the first-ever Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) World Cup, an exhibition event, which will be held during next year’s showpiece tournament.
The five-team tournament will be hosted in Warrington from 1 November 2021 and will be a festival of exciting and competitive international PDRL. The event will culminate with the final at the Halliwell Jones Stadium ahead of France v Samoa in the final men’s group A match, on 7 November 2021.
The PDRL event was originally planned under the banner of the Festival of World Cups, which was due to take place in the summer of 2021, but the Festival was recently postponed because of the impact of COVID-19. RLWC2021 have today (28 October) announced delivering the PDRL World Cup as part of the wider programme of the tournament, adding to the commitment of being the most inclusive Rugby League World Cup ever.
The PDRL World Cup, which will run alongside RLWC2021, comprises teams from five nations who will take part in a mini-tournament format. England, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland and Wales are all set to compete for the first ever PDRL World Cup title.
PDRL is an adapted version of rugby league aimed at facilitating those with physical disabilities the opportunity to play.
RLWC2021 Chief Executive Jon Dutton said: “We are delighted that we can still deliver this first-ever PDRL World Cup alongside the Men's, Women's and Wheelchair competitions in what will certainly be the biggest, best and importantly most inclusive Rugby League World Cup in history.
“The action will be intense, and the final being staged at Warrington's Halliwell Jones Stadium before the France v Samoa game ensures not only a big crowd but also a fitting finale to this tournament. Although we are sad that the Festival of World Cups has understandably been postponed, we are proud that we can stage the PDRL World Cup.”
Professor Steven Broomhead MBE, Warrington Borough Council Chief Executive and Vice Chair of Warrington Wolves said: “We’re incredibly proud to be hosting the PDRL event at our prized Halliwell Jones Stadium, as part of the biggest and most inclusive Rugby League World Cup yet.
“We’re excited to be part of PDRL story and to be able to encourage more people to get involved with and watch these games. Everyone working within PDRL is determined to make next year a monumental event and we hope that the games inspire more teams to join the PDRL in the years to come.”
Neil Kelly, Director of the Warrington Wolves Foundation added: “For Warrington to have the PDRL World Cup showcase is a fitting tribute to the passion and energy our town has given to the establishment of the game in the UK - from the first game of PDRL here in Warrington, to the team travelling to Australia to compete in the first World Club Championship.
“Warrington Wolves Foundation is proud to be a champion for PDRL, and we’re excited for the Rugby League World Cup 2021. We look forward to welcoming all of the PDRL teams next year!”
The PDRL World Cup schedule will be released in due course for more information visit rlwc2021.com.
To view a special message regarding the PDRL World Cup from RLWC2021 ambassador and Warrington Wolves PDRL player Adam Hills click here.