UK to host 2013 World Cup

The next Rugby League World Cup will be held in the United Kingdom in 2013, the RLIF has confirmed.

The UK staged the 2000 event which was deemed a failure and resulted in an eight-year recess for the competition, which was ended by last year’s successful tournament down under, won by New Zealand.

The 2008 competition attracted more than 290,000 fans and the global television audience reached 19.2million people across 120 countries and was the most widely broadcast event in rugby league history.

RFL chairman, and deputy Chairman of the RLIF (Rugby League International Federation), Richard Lewis said: “It is a great boost for Rugby League in the Northern Hemisphere to secure the World Cup in 2013.

“I thought that the 2008 tournament was an outstanding success and our goal is to build on that success and to deliver a profitable tournament that further enhances the International prestige of Rugby League.”

The northern hemisphere was granted the World Cup hosting rights based on a comprehensive business plan submitted by the RFL detailing plans to host the event as part of the UK’s “Golden Decade of Sport”.

With the Olympics to be held in London in 2012, the decision was made to play the World Cup in 2013 to ensure that it is played outside an Olympic year in future.

England is set to be named host of the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup this week while England are also in pole position to host the 2018 football World Cup.

The decision came following a two day meeting held by the RLIF in Singapore, while they also discussed the allocation of funding to develop the international game.

RLIF Chairman Colin Love said: “The RLIF is determined to build a stronger International calendar of matches and this year’s Pacific Cup is a perfect example of this.

“The Pacific Cup will see the Pacific nations: Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, the Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea compete in a two week tournament in Port Moresby in October – November with the winner given the chance to play in the 2010 Four Nations in Australia and New Zealand.

“This exciting concept will foster credible international competition and is expected to deliver entertaining Rugby League for fans in at the ground and across a wide television audience.”

The on-going development of the European Nations Cup and the need to ensure consistent matches for France, Wales, Scotland and Ireland was also addressed at the two-day meeting in Singapore.

When these events are combined with the Four Nations tournaments being held in 2009, 2010 and 2011 the RLIF believes the game will be assured of a strong calendar of International Rugby League that will build excitement on the road to the 2013 World Cup.

In the interests of balancing the work-load on players, the RLIF agreed that in every four year cycle, there will be no Four Nations tournament staged in the year prior to any Rugby League World Cup. A separate Test match schedule among nations will be developed.

The RLIF calendar will see Four Nations played in England in 2009, Australia and New Zealand in 2010, England in 2011 and then in Australia in 2014 (post the 2013 World Cup).

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