Rugby League World Cup organisers provide final ticket sale update

Old Trafford. PA Images. Rugby League World Cup

Rugby League World Cup organisers are expecting a crowd of around 64,000 for Saturday’s World Cup double-header at Old Trafford.

Australia Jillaroos take on the Kiwi Ferns in the Women’s World Cup final before Australia take on Samoa in the Men’s. 

The final attendance will take the aggregate for the men’s tournament past 400,000.

With 356,287 having watched the 30 matches so far, the total is guaranteed to top the 382,080 aggregate from the 2017 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

However, it will fall below the record of 453,483 established for the last tournament in England in 2013.

Likewise, it will also fall well short of the ambitious target of 750,000 ticket sales set by organisers ahead of the tournament’s kick-off. 

“It promises to be a special day”

“It promises to be a special day,” said World Cup chief executive Jon Dutton. 

“We’ve sold between 63,000 and 64,000 tickets and, if you put into context the two finals not involving the host nation, that’s good.

“The final will gross more than three times the 2013 final if you add in tickets and hospitality and that’s important because it’s an expensive tournament to pay for.

“You can’t pay for it on fresh air and ticket revenue is always important.

“We’re still seeing some interest in tickets but nothing like what we’d have seen if England had won on Saturday and if the women had won on Monday.

“That’s not anything we can control. But if you go through the highlights in terms of crowds, there was an opening-day record with Newcastle and Leeds, for example.

“There was the biggest crowd to watch England versus France for 65 years, the biggest crowd ever to watch rugby league in Sheffield and the semi-finals combined were a record.

“The games in Middlesbrough and Coventry have also stood out for the audience that attended. It was a young audience and a local audience and we think there’s a lot of people there attending their first game of rugby league.”

Rugby League World Cup organisers have been even more delighted with attendances for the women’s and wheelchair tournaments, with the latter guaranteed a 5,000 sell-out at Manchester Central for the clash between England and France. 

“By Friday we’ll have broken the wheelchair record crowd three times over,” Dutton said. “And we know that the viewing figures will be incredible.

“We’ve helped boost that product and where could it go in the future? That’s a product that could go global and have more competitive nations and I think it’s super exciting.”

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About Josh McAllister 2126 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.


  1. This tournament has had some good attendances but some really could have been better. With the success of Euro 2022 I think that the organisers were hoping to have a similar response. The fact that ticket sales were arround 50,000 less than in 2013 and their were more matches and three concurrent tournaments this year shows the decline that rugby league has gone through in this country over the past 10 years. The cost of living crisis won’t have helped ticket sales either. More needs to be done to promote and fund the game because 10,000 empty seats at a World Cup Final double header is not good enough!

  2. Whilst the international womens and wheelchair rugby league game have been fast tracked and may be in a good place particularly with positive TV coverage, the mens game which showcases any sport with the notable exception of beach volleyball, certainly is not. Looking for new fans is very important but retaining existing fans is probably more important. Was there too much emphasis on advance ticket sales and no mention of on the day walk ups which I know are not encouraged by sports administrators, but people do look at the weather forecast before deciding. On a more general note, does rugby league need to go back to a winter game to facilitate international tours?
    I don’t know the answers but did the RLWC ask the right questions?

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