Dutton issues fresh statement on Rugby League World Cup

The Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) Board today held another emergency meeting and reiterated its determination to deliver the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup in history, while remaining realistic about the significant challenges that threaten that ambition.

“In light of the decision by the ARLC and NZRL to withdraw from the event, the Board have instructed myself and the RLWC2021 team to continue to hold further urgent discussions with all stakeholders, particularly the players, aimed at correcting misinformation as well as measuring the sentiment on proceeding with the tournament,” said RLWC2021 CEO Jon Dutton.

“The RLWC2021 Board recognise the need to bring clarity and certainty to the situation. They have also underlined the relentless work that has been taking place to establish the most safe and secure environment for all involved – in line with other world class major events that have taken place successfully in the UK in 2021.

“RLWC will have these conversations as soon as possible and are currently in dialogue with:

  • The UK government on a regular basis, whose support has been invaluable;
  • The players on the extraordinary measures we will implement to protect their wellbeing during the event;
  • The competing nations to fully understand any new or developing issues that will prevent them travelling to England in October;
  • The eighteen dedicated host towns and cities as well as the twenty-one world class venues that will stage RLWC2021 matches;
  • The IRL on the implications of the decision made by the ARLC and NZRL and replacement teams.

“We place on record our sincere thanks for the understanding of the hundreds of thousands of fans who are planning to attend the tournament, as well as our loyal commercial and broadcast partners who have been so supportive during this challenging time.”