Cornwall bids to host 2021 Rugby League World Cup matches

Cornwall is bidding to be a venue’s to host one of 2021 Rugby League World Cup events with the county’s Rugby League Club, Cornish Rebels, spear-heading the ambitious application to bring par festivities to the South West.

The Rebels have officially entered the application stage of the RLWC 2021 hosting process having attended conferences and workshops around England in recent months for what is envisaged to be the greatest ever tournament.

“Our ambition to bring a world-class sporting event to Cornwall will further progress the development of Rugby League and inspire our next generation of athletes,” said Rebels chairman John Beach.

“It will also showcase the County as a great place to live, work and invest. We have known right from the very start of this process that ambition is a core objective of RLWC 2021 and ambition is a word which has been synonymous with the Cornish Rebels.

“Although we have been working on this for some time, the real work starts now as we enter the application phase and our aim is to finalise a consortium moving into spring 2018.”

The application comes on the back of recent positive talks with the Cornish Pirates regarding the Stadium for Cornwall developments, as it is hoped that a fully finished stadium would be the nominated venue of choice for any RLWC 2021 activity or event.

Bristol hosted the meeting of the smallest and largest competing nations in the 2013 tournament when the Memorial Ground staged the Pool D match between the Cook Islands and the USA.

A crowd of 7,247 saw the USA, led by Joseph Paulo, recorded a 32-20 win as they claimed their first-ever victory in the RLWC in a match where momentum swung back and forth, the Rugby League newcomers finished strongly to sweep their opponents aside.

Two late tries sealed an emphatic result that will live long in the memory but it was the South Sea Islanders who won the hearts of the local supporters after they made the city its unofficial 16th island as they used it as their home base for the competition.

The Cornwall bid has already received backing from Cornish Pirates general manager Tom Magill who has taken the opportunity to underline the important role that a Stadium for Cornwall can play for the area.

“The Pirates are delighted to support the bid to bring the Rugby League World Cup to Cornwall. This is a clear demonstration of what can happen if Cornwall has a stadium,” said Magill on behalf of the GKIPA Championship club.

“It would be an opportunity to bring world-class entertainment, sport and visitors to showcase the county to the world. This would be a great boost in our plans to deliver the economic, business and sporting benefits of the Stadium for Cornwall.”

It is anticipated that 80 per cent of the 2021 RLWC matches will be held in the heartland of the 13-man game with a number of Premier football clubs have expressed interest in staging games with the November final set for either Wembley or Old Trafford.


This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.