The Rugby Football League has asked the political parties to demonstrate the status of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 tournament as part of campaign plans around the Northern Powerhouse agenda.
Development and Public Affairs Director, Sarah-Jane Gray, has asked all parties to reaffirm the commitment of the next Government to working with the sport to make the tournament a success.
“The Rugby League World Cup 2021 is the foremost major sporting event to take place in the country in 2021,” she said.
“The event has the potential to mirror the positive impact that London 2012, the Commonwealth Games 2014 and the Rugby Union World Cup 2015 had on cities and city-regions.
“It will utilise the positive benefit of a high profile sporting event to engage, inspire and energise some of the nation’s hardest to reach communities across the Northern Powerhouse, together with games in London.
“Matches will be staged in large, iconic stadia in the core areas for rugby league, together with high profile games in the capital.
“Venues will be selected with the potential to ensure that all the country’s major conurbations are within an hour’s drive of a World Cup game.
“Rugby league already delivers a significant dividend for communities in the Northern Powerhouse.
“Support for the event and associated legacy programme will deliver tangible social, sporting, health, volunteering and community engagement benefits to some of the country’s most deprived communities helping address some fundamental inequalities, and will showcase the strengths of some of our foremost Northern city-regions.
“The tournament has secured government support, which includes a funded capital infrastructure legacy programme focused on benefiting grassroots rugby league in areas across the Northern Powerhouse where rugby league is at the heart of many communities.
“The tournament will aim to deliver a direct economic benefit to England of £74.6m from the greatest number of spectators ever seen at Rugby League events in the UK, attending 31 games.”