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Rugby League World Cup postponed to 2022


The RLWC2021 Board have made the difficult decision to postpone the tournament until next year after extensive consultation with the UK government, competing nations and their players, hosts, Rugby League Players Association (Australia), and commercial and broadcast partners.

Tournament organisers faced several unique and complex challenges - the most significant being the non-release of up to 400 players, match officials and staff members from the NRL competition in Australia.

This was despite all requests from international rugby league federations having been met, which included the rigorous health measures that have been keeping thousands of elite athletes from around the world safe whilst competing in major sporting events across the UK over the last year.  

The RLWC board - which includes representation from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and the International Rugby League (IRL) Board – ultimately made the tough decision to postpone the world cup until next year in the best interests of players, staff, fans and the tournament itself.

Though the decision has been detrimental to the plans and ambitions of many of the competing nations and potential replacement teams, the Board wanted to ensure that fans of Rugby League are able to enjoy the best possible tournament, which was not possible under the circumstances the tournament faced.

Warrington partners support the Board’s decision to delay the event and responsible decision making in the face of adversity. RLWC2021 will continue creating positive social change within communities like Warrington’s through its trailblazing social impact programme.