Kear relishing World Cup fillip

Bradford Bulls coach John Kear believes next year’s World Cup played a key role in the sport securing its Government emergency loan and he wants Wales to make an impact, despite expecting their European Championship campaign to be cancelled.
Kear has welcomed the Government’s intervention and says next year’s competition can help to lift the nation’s mood.
Kear said: “The loan is tremendous news and I feel the World Cup has played a massive part in that.
“With it being in 2021, when hopefully the country will be back to normality, it can provide a great boost for the nation’s morale.
“That might put a bit more pressure on Shaun Wane and his England team, but if they could get to a final and pull off a victory what a great lift that would be for everybody.
“Rugby League, from a World Cup point of view and a club point of view, is interwoven into its local communities.
“We’re not that big a sport that we can be distanced from the local communities that we play in; we’re in and amongst them and the beating heart of those areas.
“The last few weeks has demonstrated that and it’s been acknowledged with the Government loan.
“You only have to look at Scotland coach Nathan Graham, whose day job is working at Bradford Infirmary.
“Stories like this are why this grant is so justified and welcomed, because Rugby League people everywhere are embedded in their local communities.
“And there can be further long-term lasting benefits to those communities from staging the 2021 World Cup here.
“In the short term the loan is very necessary and ensures that the game can continue, and it’s credit to Ralph Rimmer and everyone at the RFL who have worked really hard to ensure we’ve got access to these funds.”
Kear concedes, however, that getting to see his Wales squad in action this year is looking increasingly unlikely.
He added: “The sense of realism indicates that we’re not going to play the European Championships this year, and that’s disappointing.
“We won it in 2015 and came second in 2018 and fancied another crack at it.
“But we still want to have an impact on the World Cup next year and it would be absolutely fantastic for the national presence of the game if we could do that.”