RLWC2021 boss ready to help make 2021 a ‘true celebration of sport’ after COVID-19


Australia celebrate after winning the 2017 Rugby League World Cup final against England in Brisbane. (SWpix.com/PhotosportNZ/Tertius Pickard / www.photosport.nz) Copyright: freelance

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The tournament – which takes place across 21 venues in England including Leeds United’s Elland Road and Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane – is making its own contingency plans in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Dutton believes it will still be a success despite an admission previously set financial targets cannot be guaranteed and myriad issues it must deal with.

RLWC2021 chief executive Jon Dutton (SWPIX) Copyright: freelance

For instance, initially the sport would have been able to enjoy and maximise the limelight given there were no other major global sporting events planned for 2021.

However, the pandemic has seen this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and the Euros both postponed for 12 months, bringing them into potential competition.

However, Dutton said last night: “The news is still very recent in terms of moving the Olympics and Paralympics but it is now a true celebration of sport in 2021.

“We believe that could actually work in our favour.

England’s Kallum Watkins is tap-tackled in the 2017 World Cup final against Australia in Brisbane. (Tertius Pickard/SWpix.com/PhotosportNZ) Copyright: freelance

“Obviously, there’s the events in Tokyo, springboarding into the UK with the mens’ football European Championship final at Wembley and then still a gap between that and the Rugby League World Cup in October and November.

“It may have an impact on our commercial landscape and broadcast; it’s too early to say.

“But at this point in time we see it more being in our favour than as a threat.”

Nevertheless, with both Super League and the NRL currently on lockdown indefinitely, there are obvious issues that organisers must contend with.

“There are things that might make an…

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