RFL calls on incoming government to maintain World Cup 2021 commitment
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RFL calls on incoming government to maintain World Cup 2021 commitment

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Rugby league’s governing body has urged all political parties to reaffirm their commitment to investing in the sport ahead of England hosting the World Cup in 2021.

Last October, the Rugby Football League (RFL) won its bid to stage the showpiece event, holding off competition from a joint bid from the US and Canada.

The bid was backed by the government, which promised to spend £15m (US$19.4m, €17.7m) to support the event and a further £10m (US$13m, €11.8m) for grassroots rugby league infrastructure, under its Northern Powerhouse initiative.

Sarah-Jane Gray, RFL development and public affairs director, wants to see all candidates involved in the upcoming General Election (8 June) make the same pledge.

According to Gray, the event “has the potential to mirror the positive impact that London 2012, the Commonwealth Games 2014 and the Rugby World Cup 2015 had on cities and city-regions”.

Revealing that the tournament will deliver a “direct economic benefit” of £74.6m (US$96.7m, €88.3m), Gray added: “Rugby league already delivers a significant dividend for communities in the Northern Powerhouse.

“Support for the event and associated legacy programme will deliver tangible social, sporting, health, volunteering and community engagement benefits to some of the country’s most deprived communities helping address some fundamental inequalities, and will showcase the strengths of some of our foremost northern city-regions.”

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Rugby league’s governing body has urged all political parties to reaffirm their commitment to investing in the sport ahead of England hosting the World Cup in 2021.
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