The two southern hemisphere giants had pulled out of the Rugby League World Cup
amid Covid fears within England, where it was due to be held across October and
November later this year.
No specific date has yet been identified for when the rescheduled event will be held
for what organizers described as a ‘difficult decision’.
Today is a challenging moment for everyone involved in Rugby League, but most
importantly the players and fans of the competing nations,’ said Jon Dutton,
RLWC2021 Chief Executive Officer.
‘We have always prioritized player voice and player choice. We have established
a player working group met with senior players and in the last few days
commissioned a player survey to domestic players in Australia and New Zealand that
showed more than 85 percent wanted to compete at RLWC2021 this year.
‘However, following the disappointing decision of the ARLC and NZRL to withdraw,
and the subsequent impact on player availability for other competing nations, it is
apparent that delivering the tournament this year would not be feasible.
‘The wellbeing of all those involved in the tournament, particularly players and team
officials, has been our priority. I would like to thank the RLWC2021 Board and my
team for the relentless hard work and extraordinary measures that had been
undertaken to create a safe and secure environment in line with other major sports
events that have been successfully hosted in the UK this year.
‘I would also like to thank all our committed partners as well as the Rugby League
community at large who have been so supportive of our trailblazing event. We
appreciate the continued and unequivocal support of the UK Government, as well as
the understanding of our competing nations.’