Excitement Builds Over 2021 Rugby World Cup, As We Enter One Year Countdown

World-renowned Northern poet Tony Walsh has captured the passion and pride of the Rugby World Cup with a new poem.

The poem, The Power of Together, is a rallying call from Manchester-born Walsh, also known as Longfella, for communities across the country to play their part in supporting the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup in history.

Preston will host Wales’ men’s team as their training base, as the Rugby League World Cup 2021 welcomes the best in the world from the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments.

Mayor of Preston, Councillor David Borrow, said:

“With one year to go we’re all very excited to be counting the days until we can welcome Wales to their Preston base for the Rugby League World Cup.

“Between now and then we have exciting plans to work with schools and communities to introduce them to rugby league and help to grow the game in Preston creating a legacy that lasts beyond 2021.

“After a very difficult year for us all the tournament will be a chance for everyone to come together and enjoy the excitement and inclusivity that rugby league offers across three exciting tournaments.”

As the public ticket ballot opens and the tournament comes into sight, Walsh urges fans to not miss out and play their part in making the tournament one to remember – “Help us bring it, help us sing it; help us make the planet tremble, The Rugby League World Cup is coming. Squads assemble!”

The public ticket ballot – the first in Rugby League World Cup history – opened at 9am on 23 October 2020 (today) and will remain open for applications until 16 November 2020 at 8.21pm. Fans will be able to apply for tickets for each of the 61 matches across all three tournaments, with tickets in each price band at every game available.

Gareth Kear, Chief Executive of Wales Rugby League, said:

“2020 has been a challenging year for everyone so RLWC2021 is something for us all to look forward to.

“Despite the pandemic, we’ve been working hard to continue growing the game in Wales, with many exciting new projects being announced over the last couple of months.

“We’re delighted to be based in Preston and our squad has a great balance of youth and experience, with some attending their third World Cup, so we’ll be raring to go come next autumn, aiming to compete with some of the best sides in the world.

“We’ve got some very talented players coming through and we want to inspire future generations at RLWC2021.”

Following the unprecedented demand during the Rugby League family priority access sale, fans are encouraged to apply for a wide selection of matches or use the Powerplay option* to have a better chance of seeing their favourite team play during RLWC2021.

Fans are reminded that the public ticket ballot will be the last opportunity to buy a ticket to the tournament at 2020 promotional rates, ticket prices will increase from 1 January 2021.  To apply for tickets in the Public Ticket Ballot, applicants must register an account via the Official Rugby League World Cup 2021 Ticketing website.

Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 CEO, said today:

“We are thrilled that a figure such as Tony who, like Rugby League, is a huge part of Northern culture has helped us mark a year to go to the tournament with this iconic poem and video – filmed at the RLWC2021 tournament final venue – Old Trafford, Manchester.

”Tony captures everything that is great about our game and the tournament, particularly the special way it is woven into the fabric of the North of England and the positive social impact the tournament is delivering.”

“23 October is a day we have all been looking forward to as the one-year countdown begins to the opening match in Newcastle between England and Samoa in 2021. But also, today is a landmark moment not just for the tournament but also the sport of Rugby League as we have the opportunity to welcome many potential future Rugby League fans to the sport through the Public Ticket ballot.”

Dutton added:

“The ballot provides a brilliant chance for anybody who wants to attend RLWC2021 and watch the most exciting and competitive Rugby League available and be part of sporting history next autumn.”

“Preston has a big part to play in next years’ tournament, and with just one year to go, we can feel the excitement and tension mounting as the world’s best will be coming to Preston.”

“England has a rich history of staging great global sporting events with phenomenal public support. We know the Rugby League World Cup 2021 will be no different and fans will turn out in record numbers to support the event.”

Manchester poet Tony Walsh, aka Longfella, added:

“Themes like passion and a sense of community are often features of my poetry and few sports can rival Rugby League for these things. So the invitation to capture the spirit of the game and to help build excitement for a world class sporting event, right here on our doorsteps, was one that I couldn’t resist. Sport has a unique capacity to unite and inspire us and we need that more than ever in these most challenging of times. 12 months to go. “Squads assemble!”

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