AS THE birth place of rugby league, it is entirely fitting that six locations across Yorkshire – Doncaster, Kirklees, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and York – will stage matches, together with Middlesbrough, during the 2021 World Cup.
Not only does this honour the 13-a-side code’s rich heritage here, but it is also recognition that there is no place like Yorkshire when it comes to hosting showpiece events.
And the presence of the best men’s, women’s and wheelchair rugby teams in the world comes at a critical time as the new Super League system kicks off with further alterations to its format. Yet, while these changes are intended to speed up the game for the benefit of spectators, rugby league does still needs to broaden its horizons, and fan base, if it is to hold its own against other sports.
As such, the World Cup is a rare opportunity to celebrate the sport on and off the pitch. It should be taken with both hands as rugby league finally comes home.