Doncaster wins the right to host rugby league World Cup games

The  official logo
The official logo

Doncaster has been successful in its bid to host three fixtures of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 and bring top class international rugby league to South Yorkshire.

Following an intensive yearlong ‘Back the Bid’ campaign to secure the fixtures, Doncaster will be one of the venues selected following a highly competitive bidding process.

Councillor Nigel Ball, cabinet member for public health, leisure and culture, said: “This is a fantastic achievement to bring a global event right here to Doncaster.

“An enormous amount of work has gone in to securing the bid and it’s fantastic that the ‘Back the Bid’ campaign has been successful. We’re delighted to have been chosen and now the preparations begin as we get ready to welcome international quality sports people and thousands of spectators.

“The public are going to see a tough, fast-paced sport at close quarters and I’m confident this will fire the imaginations of local youngsters in to taking up the game.”

Chief Executive of the Rugby League World Cup 2021, Jon Dutton paid special praise to Doncaster’s application, explaining what made it successful. He said: “Doncaster put together one of the most engaging ‘Back the Bid’ campaigns of anywhere in the country. It was great to see such a fantastic bid get a fittingly impressive and dynamic campaign behind it.

“Doncaster narrowly missed out on being part of the 2013 tournament, so it is pleasing that their hard work and endeavour presents them with not only three men’s games but also the opportunity to engage in our InspirationALL legacy programme in a deep and meaningful way.”

The tournament itself is anticipated to be the biggest and best world cup ever and commences in October 2021. The four week event promises to bring global rugby league superstars to these shores with English icons such as Sam Tomkins, the Burgess brothers - Tom and George - and Yorkshire-born John Bateman all expected to feature.

Reigning Rugby League World Cup holders Australia will likely call upon the likes of Valentine Holmes, Luke Keary and Latrell Mitchell to help defend their title while Shaun Johnson, Kodi Nikorima and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak should feature for a strong New Zealand outfit. Pacific heavyweights Fiji, Samoa and Tonga have qualified, as have emerging nations Lebanon, Papua New Guinea and Jamaica.

Carl Hall, Chief Executive of Doncaster Rugby League Club, on behalf of Club Doncaster, said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with and can’t wait to start the planning the next stages.” 

Carl was also announced as the Vice President of the Rugby Football League with effect from July 2019 which ensures Doncaster is kept on the sporting radar.

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• The Rugby League World Cup 2021 are looking to deliver the biggest, best, most attended and most viewed Rugby League World Cup ever
• The tournament will be one of the most inclusive and diverse events ever hosted in England, promoting the three simultaneous disciplines of the men’s, women’s and wheelchair World Cup
• The Rugby League World Cup 2021 is being built to leave a long-lasting legacy that celebrates the heritage of the sport and increases the visibility, participation and interest in Rugby League on a global scale
• The tournament will deliver some inspirational and memorable moments that will become highlights of the 2021 sporting calendar and beyond 
• The tournament will see our nation welcome world-class athletes, playing an incredible sport, performing on Rugby League’s biggest stage
• The tournament aims to be the most digitally connected entertainment event in 2021 
• The RLWC2013 set new records for economic impact and media reach that will be smashed again at England 2021. An expanded event footprint will attract more live spectators, encourage domestic tourism and longer overseas visitor stays
• The tournament will be held in October and November 2021