Whaling annoyed at South Yorkshire’s omission from World Cup

Sheffield Eagles director John Whaling believes that the Rugby League World Cup has made a major blunder by not using his home city as a venue.

The former RFL president believes that South Yorkshire rugby league has suffered in recent years from a lack of respect from the game’s authorities.

His answer as to whether the success enjoyed by other World Cup venues, such as Bristol and Workington, galls somewhat, was unequivocal.

“Immensely,” he confirmed to Love Rugby League, with some passion.

“The fixtures for the Rugby League World Cup were announced while I was president. When I took over as president, I stated that my big aim in office, that year, was to raise the profile of rugby league in South Yorkshire.

“I didn’t hide anything from the RFL about my disappointment that we didn’t get a game in South Yorkshire.”

Whaling points to the success of the New Zealand and Cook Islands‘ warm-up fixture held at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium as a sign of the passion for the game in his part of the country.

“The crowd that Carl Hall managed to generate for New Zealand versus Cook Islands, as a warm-up game, not for the Rugby League World Cup, was great,” he added.

“He didn’t have the media behind him, like the places that have held proper World Cup games.

“The number of people Carl got through the gate at Doncaster proved that we could have successfully held a World Cup match in South Yorkshire.

“It’s very disappointing that we didn’t get one.”

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