South Africa outline bid to host 2017 Rugby League World Cup

South Africa outlined their bid to host the next World Cup in 2017 at the recent Rugby League European Federation AGM and conference.

A record number of 24 nations attended the event, held at Brunel University to coincide with last weekend’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

SARL official Chris Botes presented the South Africa bid, as part of discussions on a draft eight-year international calendar.

The event also included an update on the 2013 World Cup from competition general manager Sally Bolton and operations director Jon Dutton.

Delegates then participated in a lively debate led by RLEF and RLIF board member Graeme Thompson covering proposed re-structuring of the 2014-21 RLEF international calendar, which could see the European Cup, Shield and Bowl replaced by an integrated European Championship from next year. The planned name change is designed to enable members to better engage with local stakeholders, especially in government, who are familiar with dealing with such a system. 

The draft eight-year calendar is now set for a month’s consultation period to allow the members time to study the mechanics of a system that would introduce promotion and relegation between the tiers.

RLEF chairman Maurice Watkins said: “Some notable progress has been made by many of our members in line with RLEF strategy and there is real unity of purpose throughout the countries to strengthen their on and off-field operations. The high proportion of members in attendance and the distances travelled by some points to an extremely committed and serious group.”

Members in attendance: Czech Republic (CZRLA), England (RFL), France (FFRXIII), Germany (RLD), Ireland (RLI), Italy (FIRL), Lebanon (LRLF), Russia (ARLK), Scotland (SRL), Serbia (SRLF), South Africa (SARL), Ukraine (UFRL), Wales (WRL)

Observers: Belgium (BRLA), Denmark (DRLF), Greece (HeRLFC), Latvia (LRL), Malta (MRL), Netherlands (NRLB), Sweden (SRL), UAE (UAERL)

Uncategorised: Ghana, Poland, Romania

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