RLWC 2021 Receives Interest From Potential Host Venues Outside Of England
The organizers of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup have received 40 expressions of interest from potential host venues, including "several inquiries from enticing areas outside England," according to Aaron Bower of the London GUARDIAN. The Rugby League Int'l Federation awarded the tournament to England last year ahead of a competing bid from the U.S. But matches "could be played outside the host country," with venues in France and Ireland -- including Perpignan, Avignon and Limerick -- "understood to have expressed interest in hosting games." Tournament CEO Jon Dutton said that the RLWC has been "inundated with interest in England and beyond." He said, "The contract with the government is to stage the tournament in England but if a strong bid came forward somewhere else, we've got to listen to it." The towns and cities which lodge applications for the '21 tournament "will discover their fate by the end of next year," with that list to be "whittled down to 14" when the '21 team makes its decisions. The "backbone of England's bid" detailed that 80% of matches would be "played across the northern heartlands of rugby league" -- but areas such as London and Coventry are "near-guarantees to be given matches, too" (GUARDIAN, 12/12).