World Cup chief Jon Dutton on why 2021 tournament will be “biggest and best” yet

RLWC2021 chief executive Jon Dutton is confident the tournament will be the “biggest and best” one yet.

For the first time in Rugby League World Cup history, the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments will take place together in 2021.

All 61 matches will be played at venues across England between October 23 and November 27, 2021.

Dutton said: “We thought long and hard about the brand of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. We feel that there is a renewed sense of hope and optimism and we are celebrating what we stand for which is inclusivity, making a difference and staging the biggest and best ever World Cup there has been.

“We’ve got three tournaments, 61 games, some fantastic venues and some brilliant nations that people can look forward to.

“We have got a legacy programme that is making a difference in local communities.

“We’ve announced significant funding to local communities and rugby league clubs, we’ve got a mental fitness programme that we deliver which underpins everything we are doing but the tournament itself is just for anyone who loves rugby league to celebrate.

“The tournament gives us five weeks of spectacular sport and five weeks of watching the sport’s best athletes.

“We have both men’s and women’s World Cup finals on the same day at Old Trafford live on the BBC and I think that is a huge statement from us as the organisers about how important international women’s rugby league is.

“We are really hopeful that we will transcend rugby league by showing people the wheelchair game. We’ve got James Simpson as one of our ambassadors who is just a brilliant individual and is a great ambassador for the wheelchair game.

“I think we’ve got a nice blend of football stadia, rugby league venues and we have also got our indoor venues as well. Starting in Newcastle is just a statement for a sport that has been born out of the north of England. There is enough in there for everyone to look forward to.”

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