23rd October 2020, 10:22 | rlwc2021
It is exactly one year to go until England take on Samoa at St James’ Park!
The World Cup is the biggest opportunity all of us have to showcase our brilliant sport to the country and the world.
I can’t wait to introduce new people to this sport. I know that once new people see Rugby League they will be completely blown away by the brilliance and skill of the players. And I know that the more people understand the impact our sport has in communities, the more they respect and admire it.
I can’t wait for our chance to welcome all the competing nations – especially my brothers and sisters from New Zealand! 16 nations will compete for the men’s trophy: 8 nations for the women’s trophy, and 8 for the wheelchair RL trophy.
We have so much to look forward to after this tough year. The most inclusive World Cup ever with men’s, women’s and wheelchair RL tournaments taking place together. No other sport has done this – it’s another first by Rugby League. I really believe fans of other sports and events can fall in love with Rugby League. Let’s help them – I’m going to!
As we countdown a year to go we have the greatest marketing opportunity ever. For community clubs from Cornwall to Newcastle. For all professional clubs. Let’s grab this opportunity with both hands. We have never had a better opportunity to engage new players, new fans, new audiences and new partners.
Hosts towns and cities like my own, Doncaster, will offer a great welcome and make sure that the tournament leaves a lasting legacy. In fact – the impact is already being felt. Up and down the country Rugby League clubs, schools and colleges are improving their facilities and enjoying new equipment through the CreatedBY fund. Thousands of kids have access to free resources for schools and they are our future players, officials, volunteers, and fans. And the mental fitness work around the tournament should make everyone in the sport really proud.
Wherever you watch or play or volunteer – this is your World Cup, your opportunity. The year will go really fast – let’s make the most of everyday. If I can help – please shout.
Take care everyone
RFL Vice-President and RLWC2021 Champion