WITH 500 days to go until the opening fixture of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 organisers have announced that Warrington will host Papua New Guinea- the only nation to boast Rugby League as its national sport!
The Pacific Islanders are ranked sixth in the competition and could be dark horses and are well known for a thrilling style of rugby which is sure to thrill fans at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Warrington is used to seeing thrilling rugby league action and has a hugely passionate fan base that is sure to welcome an exciting Papua New Guinea squad with open arms in 2021. The Pacific Islanders may even give the locals a run for their money in terms of passion being the only nation in the world that boasts rugby league as its national sport.
The squads from the 21 unique nations and 32 teams will be based in different locations. All the host cities and towns, including those who won’t be a dedicated team base (Coventry and Kirklees), will form a huge part of making the tournament a success, welcoming players from around the world and adopting them as their own, as they get behind them and cheer them on in 500 days’ time. Following this announcement, the fixtures for all three tournaments will be announced in the coming months.
RLWC2021 has today also revealed new branding for the tournament, celebrating the power of together, focusing on human interest stories and emotional connections, with the goal of connecting with a universal audience.
The new branding will also include bespoke elements from each host, drawing on recognisable icons and displaying the sense of civic pride each host has for its town or city. RLWC2021 will be asking people from each town and city to vote on the icons that make up their custom patterns in the coming months and will be doing something similar for the nations towards the end of the year.
Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 Chief Executive, said: “Today marks another hugely exciting milestone on the road to Rugby League World Cup 2021 as we celebrate 500 days until the opening fixture at St James’ Park in October next year.
“There’s a massive rugby league fanbase and community in Warrington that will be really excited to be welcoming a nation that equals their own passion for the sport. It’s set to see some brilliant games and be a real hive of activity at Rugby League World Cup 2021 and I know the PNG men’s team with have a fantastic stay there.
“Our refreshed tournament identity and today’s nation base announcement can serve as an exciting reminder for the people of Manchester of what’s to come in 2021 as we continue to build momentum towards what promises to be the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup in history.”
Paul Taylor, who chaired Warrington’s initial bid group, said: “The announcement that we’ll be welcoming PNG to Warrington is hugely exciting. A team and nation of such energy, vibrancy and hunger is a perfect match for our town. In the same way we enthusiastically welcomed Samoa in 2013, I know we’ll do the same again with PNG next year.”
Leader of the Council, Cllr Russ Bowden, commented: “Today marks another big milestone on the road to Rugby League World Cup 2021 as we celebrate 500 days until the tournament starts.
“I’m really excited to be welcoming a nation that equals our own love for the sport. In the same way we as a town continue to punch above our weight, so too, do PNG. Being ranked sixth in the world, The Kumuls could be a genuine contender and dark-horse, so it’s a mouth-watering prospect that our town will be looking after them during the tournament.”
Please visit www.RLWC2021.com for more information and for details on how to sign up to the receive ticket alerts and all the latest news first.