England launch 2021 World Cup bid

England's Sam Tomkins
England's Sam Tomkins

The RFL will launch a bid for England to be the hosts of the 2021 rugby legaue World Cup.

The bid proposes 31 matches will be played in 12 stadiums, including Old Trafford, Etihad Stadium, St James’ Park and Wembley.

Aiming to reach more than 1m fans, more than double who attended the 2013 World Cup, a pricing plan sees most seats cost between £15 and £25.

Warriors star and England international Sam Tomkins said: “Playing in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup in front of home fans was one of the highlights of my career and I hope the England team get to experience it again in 2021. 2013 felt big, but the idea of playing to crowds twice as big is electrifying.”

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 the Autumn.

The RFL’s bid will benefit from Central Government backing with £15m pledged to help support the hosting of the Rugby League World Cup in 2021, which will follow on from next year’s World Cup Down Under.

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.”