Postponed rugby showcase new dates announced

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Rugby League World Cup new dates announced 2 Image: Rugby League World Cup

The postponed Rugby League World Cup will kick off next year on October 15th and will conclude on November 19th, organizers have confirmed.

The ‘Sky Sports’ stated that the tournament was put back to 2022 following the decision of reigning champions Australia and 2008 winners New Zealand not to travel to England (UK) this year due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic the Delta variant of which has again pounded the United Kingdom.

The Rugby League World Cup is an international rugby league tournament contested by the top men’s national teams. The tournament is administered by the International Rugby League and was first held in France in 1954, which was the first World Cup held for any form of rugby football.

The 2021 Rugby League World Cup was supposed to be the 16th staging of the Rugby League World Cup and will now be held in England in 2022.

The International Rugby League (IRL) is the global governing body for the sport of rugby league football. Previously known as the Rugby League Imperial Board, the International Rugby League Board and latterly the Rugby League International Federation, the IRL is responsible for the Laws of the Game, the development, organisation and governance of rugby leagues internationally, and for the sport’s major international tournaments, most notably the Rugby League World Cup.

The ‘Sky Sports’ further stated that the new dates mean the World Cup will be held in the window between the end of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the start of the football World Cup in Qatar.

Stated the tournament Chief Executive Jon Dutton, “I am delighted that we have been able to announce the revised dates today (read August 26th) and can now look forward to the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup ever in the Autumn of 2022. The continuing conversations with all our supportive hosts and venues have been hugely positive. We are confident that we can deliver a similar tournament schedule, which will be communicated as soon as possible.”

Added Dutton, “Obviously, we are disappointed the tournament will not be happening as originally planned but we are determined to make next year a celebration of sport, unity, people, place, and civic pride.”

As planned, the men’s tournament will begin with the opening match at the 52,305-capacity St James’ Park in Newcastle (UK), while the 76,000-capacity Old Trafford in Stretford (UK) will host the double-header of the women’s and men’s finals.

Organizers are now working with nations, venues and hosts towns and Cities to finalize a revised schedule for the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournament, although had previously stated the order of matches would remain as initially announced.

The International Rugby League Chairman, Troy Grant, remarked, “The Rugby League World Cup is the international pinnacle of our sport, and I am delighted that the new dates have been agreed meaning we can now push forward towards Autumn 2022. Jon Dutton and the entire RLWC2021 team have worked tirelessly following the postponement being announced and I have total confidence that the 2022 incarnation of the tournament will be the best we have ever seen both on and off the field of play.”

Supporters who have already purchased tickets for the tournament will have those automatically transferred to the corresponding fixture next year, although a three-week window for anyone wishing to obtain refunds is now open via the RLWC2021 official website.

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