The RFL has today confirmed that it will bid for England to host the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.
Following what was widely regarded as the most successful Rugby League World Cup ever in 2013, the RFL revealed their ambition to make 2021 the biggest and most watched tournament in the sports history targeting one million spectators, double the number achieved in 2013.
If the bid is successful, twelve stadiums across the country will be selected from a shortlist which will include a variety of Rugby League stadiums and a number of other iconic sporting venues such as Old Trafford, Etihad Stadium, St James’ Park and Wembley.
Speaking at an event at Old Trafford to launch the bid, Chairman of the RFL, Brian Barwick, said: “The Rugby League World Cup 2021 provides an ideal opportunity for the nation to demonstrate again to a global audience its ability to stage a world class sporting event we all can be proud of. It will top off a superb decade of incredible sporting events held in this country that began in 2012 with the London Olympics.
“I am proud to present the English bid, that includes plans to host the Women’s and Wheelchair World Cups and one that I think offers Rugby League the best opportunity to grow as a sport both in this country and importantly helping the International Federation to grow the game across the globe.”
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 Autumn.
The 2013 edition of the tournament proved hugely popular in Salford when over 6000 people turned out to see Scotland beat the USA 22-8 at the The Salford Stadium during the group stages.
With the final taking place just down the road at Old Trafford, Salford and the wider area caught a case of World Cup fever, and the club would welcome a return of the prestigious competition in 2021.