The UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston has joined forces with the Rugby Football League CEO Ralph Rimmer and Rugby League World Cup CEO Jon Dutton to respond to this morning’s announcement from the Australian and New Zealand Rugby League authorities that they would pull out of this year’s World Cup and the three of them have issued a statement.
“We are extremely surprised and disappointed in today’s unexpected announcement from the Australian and New Zealand Rugby League authorities,” said their statement.
“Over recent weeks we have met all requests to set out the rigorous health measures that have kept thousands of elite athletes from around the world safe whilst competing in major sporting events across the UK. Indeed, Australian and New Zealand athletes continue to compete in sporting events here, such as in cricket and rugby union.
“Today we have met and agreed to continue working closely with the Rugby League World Cup Organising Committee.
“In the best interests of the sport and its millions of fans around the world, we remain open to further discussions with the Australian and New Zealand Rugby League authorities about what further reassurances they might need. We remain committed to the tournament and putting on a superb spectacle of sport.”