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Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 11:53 UK

UK to host Rugby League World Cup

Benji Marshall
Benji Marshall celebrates New Zealand's victory in last year's event

The 2013 Rugby League World Cup will be held in the United Kingdom.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Rugby League International Federation in Singapore to discuss the future of the international calendar.

Australia had also submitted a bid to stage the event again after the success of the 2008 tournament.

But it will return to the UK, which last hosted it in 2000, and be delayed by a year to avoid a clash with the 2012 Olympics in London.

New Zealand ended Australia's long stranglehold on the trophy with a surprise 34-20 victory in the final of the 2008 tournament.

Richard Lewis, the deputy chairman of the RLIF and executive chairman of the Rugby Football League, said: "It is a great boost for rugby league in the northern hemisphere to secure the World Cup in 2013.

"I thought that the 2008 tournament was an outstanding success and our goal is to build on that success and to deliver a profitable tournament that further enhances the international prestige of rugby league."

606: DEBATE
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Although the RFL says the matches will be focussed around the game's heartland areas in the north of England, it is speaking to various agencies about the possibility of staging games in London, Wales and Scotland.

England coach Tony Smith is confident hosting the World Cup will give the sport a major boost in Britain.

"It's fantastic. It's going to give us great exposure nationally and worldwide. That's what we need," he said.

"When we introduce new faces to our game they usually stay, and it's just a case of getting more exposure and gradually bringing more people in.

"It's going to help in terms of attendances and producing young players.

"It also gives us the advantage that hosts get - it's going to be on our turf, our grounds and with our weather. All of those things give the national team the incentive they need."

THE UK GOLDEN DECADE OF SPORT
2010: Ryder Cup, Celtic Manor
2011: Champions League final, Wembley
2012: Olympic Games, London
2013: Rugby League World Cup
2014: Ryder Cup, Gleneagles; Commonwealth Games, Glasgow
2015: Rugby World Cup
2019: Cricket World Cup

ADDITIONAL BID
2018 Football World Cup

The 2000 World Cup was hampered by bad weather and proved a financial disaster, leaving the RFL in debt.

But last autumn's event in Australia was a success, attracting combined crowds of 290,000 and a global television audience of 19.2m, making it the most widely broadcast event in the game's history.

The RLIF also agreed that in future, there will be no Four Nations tournament staged in the year prior to a World Cup with the top nations having the option to arrange individual Test series.

The 2009 and 2011 Four Nations will be staged in England with both Australia and New Zealand hosting it in 2010 and Australia the next hosts after the World Cup in 2014.

The event would be an integral part of the so-called "golden decade" of sport in the UK, along with the 2012 Olympics in London, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the 2015 rugby union World Cup and also the 2018 football World Cup, which the Football Association is hopeful of bringing to English soil.



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see also
RFL seeks World Cup bid backing
22 Jan 09 |  Rugby League
Australia make new World Cup bid
20 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
France on course for Tri-Nations
11 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
Australia 20-34 New Zealand
22 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
Britain plans 2013 World Cup bid
17 Oct 08 |  Rugby League


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