Sheffield launches Rugby World Cup bid

During Friday night’s Steel City derby, England and Leeds Rhinos Wheelchair Rugby League player James Simpson addressed the crowd at Bramall Lane and officially kicked off Sheffield’s bid to host the 2021 Rugby World Cup.

Leeds Rhino’s captain James began playing the sport just a few years ago after recovering from life-threatening injuries during deployment in Afghanistan in 2009. James began playing wheelchair rugby in 2013 and five years later, is now the first official ambassador of the Rugby League World Cup 2021.

For the first time the world men’s, women’s and wheelchair Rugby League games will be held at the same in time in the same country. Sheffield’s bid covers all three, plus team training camps and accommodation.

Operations director at Sheffield United Dave McCarthy said: “We are honoured that our stadium has been chosen for RLWC 2021, should Sheffield be selected as one of the host cities and we’re delighted to launch the ‘back the bid’ campaign here at such a high profile game as the local derby.

“The city offers so much for visitors and having the likes of New Zealand or Australia grace the Bramall Lane turf in 2021 would be amazing, not only for the football club, but for the people of Sheffield and indeed the region. I hope the general public will ‘back the bid’ to show the RFL how serious we are in staging World Cup games in three years’ time.”

Sheffield’s bid was made by Sheffield city council in partnership with Sheffield United Football Club, The Sheffield Eagles, Sheffield International Venues, Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, Scarborough Properties and Sheffield Hallam University. If successful, men’s games will be played at Bramall Lane, women’s games at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and wheelchair games at The English Institute of Sport.

Sheffield International Venues, as the official local box office for events in Sheffield, is also a major partner in the bid. Head to SIV’s site here.

The winning bid will be announced in January 2021. 

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