2017 Rugby League World Cup is the 15th Rugby League premier international competition. The best 14 men’s and 6 women’s teams from around the world have competed against each other in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, all aiming to reach the finals held on 2 December in Brisbane.
In the men’s final, England will be playing one of the host nations, Australia, in an attempt to bring back home the first World Cup in the history of English Rugby League. This success of the national team – if it were to happen – comes at a time when, in the capital, the participation of junior club players increased by 5% in 2017, which means that just over 1050 junior players are registered in the London Junior League.
The bigger participation numbers are also in schools, and there’s great opportunities for players and volunteers to play rugby league across the whole city. Every borough of London, except London Borough of Enfield, currently runs a tag rugby festival at primary school level in the London Youth Games, before the pan-London final in March. Another great opportunity is open to secondary school students, who can take part in the national Champion Schools competition.
Commenting the growth of rugby league in London, Dan Steel – Managing Director at London Rugby League Foundation said: “From my perspective, there are some great opportunities for players and volunteers in rugby league in London. We’ve got some fantastic opportunities to play through every level of education and some great junior and adult clubs across the capital.
“There’s a great pathway for talented young players and coaches through to professional sport with London Broncos (Championship) and London Skolars (League 1) and it’s a really welcoming sport for new volunteers. On top of that we get the sport’s flagship competition final, the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final, on our doorstep at Wembley Stadium every summer.”