The RFL has confirmed that all bids to become a Host City for the 2013 England and Wales Rugby League World Cup are now considered complete. The RFL has been touring the country over recent months, carrying out detailed inspections to examine the various sites venue specifications, as well as evaluating the enthusiasm and commitment of each bidding town/city. In total, the RFL has received 25 bids comprising 30 stadia, 47 Team Training Sites and 87 Team Base Camps, all of which will now be fully assessed with the aim of announcing the full schedule at the end of 2011 as the tournament takes its place in the UK’s Golden Decade of Sport.
Sally Bolton, the RFL’s Director of Projects and Planning, said: “It has been a fantastic and inspiring few months and we have been encouraged and impressed with the quality, detail and diverse nature of the proposed partnerships we have seen. We now have some very tough decisions to make. “We would like to thank all the Host City consortia for their hard work and the welcome we received at each venue. It is our belief that the Host City process is the first and one of the most significant steps in delivering the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup ever and we look forward to working with successful partners over the next 30 months.”
The 2013 England and Wales World Cup was officially launched in November 2010 and will involve 14 nations, two of whom will gain entry through their participation in qualifying tournaments played in 2011. Australia, Cook Islands, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Papa New Guinea, Samoa, Scotland, Tonga and Wales have all been confirmed as competing nations and they will be joined by one qualifier from a European Qualifying Group consisting of Italy, Lebanon, Russia and Serbia and one qualifier from an Atlantic Qualifying Group consisting of Jamaica, South Africa and the USA.
The Atlantic Zone qualifiers will be held in Philadelphia in October.
The competition's structure will consist of two groups of four, with England drawn alongside archrivals Australia, Fiji and Ireland in Group A. World Cup holders New Zealand will face Pacific Island rivals Papua New Guinea, Samoa and France in Group B. Scotland will face Tonga and the European qualifiers in Group C and joint hosts Wales have been drawn against the Cook Islands and the Atlantic Qualifiers.