Rugby League World Cup 2021 One Year Countdown – York Minster Lit Up in Celebration & Public Ticket Ballot Opens

  • The biggest, best and most inclusive Rugby League World Cup to date is just one year away and to mark the date York Minster has been in illuminated in RLWC Purple
  • York will be hosting eight fixtures at the LNER Community Stadium, all in the women’s tournament, starting off with New Zealand vs France
  • Public ticket ballot is now open to fans and live sport enthusiasts and will remain open for applications until 16 November 2020 at 20:21. Applications can be made via:
  • To celebrate the one year to go milestone, RLWC2021 organisers have released “The Power of Together” declaration by Manchester poet Tony Walsh, aka Longfella

With exactly one year to go, York Minster is to be lit up purple today to celebrate the Rugby League World Cup 2021 coming to the city.

World renowned poet and proud Northerner Tony Walsh has today also captured the passion, excitement and community pride that epitomises the unique and inclusive spirit of the Rugby League World Cup 2021. The poem, The Power of Together, is a rallying call from Manchester-born Walsh, also known as Longfella, for communities across the country to play their part in supporting the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup in history.

As the public ticket ballot opens and the tournament comes into sight, Walsh urges fans to not miss out and play their part in making the tournament one to remember – “Help us bring it, help us sing it; help us make the planet tremble, The Rugby League World Cup is coming. Squads assemble!”

The public ticket ballot – the first in Rugby League World Cup history – opened at 9:00 23 October 2020 (today) and will remain open for applications until 16 November 2020 at 20:21. Fans will be able to apply for tickets for each of the 61 matches across all three tournaments, with tickets in each price band at every game available, including the eight fixtures in York.  

Following the unprecedented demand during the Rugby League family priority access sale, fans are encouraged to apply for a wide selection of matches or use the Powerplay option* to have a better chance of seeing their favourite team play during RLWC2021.

Fans are reminded that the public ticket ballot will be the last opportunity to buy a ticket to the tournament at 2020 promotional rates, ticket prices will increase from 1 January 2021.  To apply for tickets in the Public Ticket Ballot, applicants must register an account via the official Rugby League World Cup 2021 Ticketing website, which can be accessed via

York will play host to eight fixtures when RLWC2021 comes to England next year, as well as acting as the training base for New Zealand’s men and women’s team, as well as the women’s sides from Australia, France and Cook Islands.

Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 CEO, said today: “We are thrilled that a figure such as Tony who, like Rugby League, is a huge part of Northern culture has helped us mark a year to go to the tournament with this iconic poem and video – filmed at the RLWC2021 tournament final venue – Old Trafford, Manchester.

‘’Tony captures everything that is great about our game and the tournament, particularly the special way it is woven into the fabric of the North of England and the positive social impact the tournament is delivering.”

“23 October is a day we have all been looking forward to as the one-year countdown begins to the opening match in Newcastle between England and Samoa in 2021. But also, today is a landmark moment not just for the tournament but also the sport of Rugby League as we have the opportunity to welcome many potential future Rugby League fans to the sport through the Public Ticket ballot.”

Dutton added: “The ballot provides a brilliant chance for anybody who wants to attend RLWC2021 and watch the most exciting and competitive Rugby League available and be part of sporting history next autumn.”

“York has a big part to play in next years’ tournament, and with just one year to go, we can feel the excitement and tension mounting as the world’s best will be coming to York.”

“England has a rich history of staging great global sporting events with phenomenal public support. We know the Rugby League World Cup 2021 will be no different and fans will turn out in record numbers to support the event.”

Manchester poet Tony Walsh, aka Longfella, added: “Themes like passion and a sense of community are often features of my poetry and few sports can rival Rugby League for these things. So the invitation to capture the spirit of the game and to help build excitement for a world class sporting event, right here on our doorsteps, was one that I couldn’t resist. Sport has a unique capacity to unite and inspire us and we need that more than ever in these most challenging of times. 12 months to go. “Squads assemble!”

Across the city, partners have been working with the Rugby League World Cup team to bring the event to York – including City of York Council, Make It York, York St John University, GLL, York City Knights, University of York and Queen Ethelberga’s – with the games set to be held at the new LNER community stadium next year.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said: “We are proud to be a host city for next year’s Rugby League World Cup. Thank you to everyone who has supported the event so far. Next year, York will play a key role in the event hosting inspiring athletes and two women’s world cup semi-finals at the LNER Community Stadium. We can’t wait to welcome the world’s best to York as the city hosts another top-class cultural event.”

Sean Bullick, Managing Director, Make It York said: “We can’t wait for York to host the Rugby League World Cup next year and welcome fans and players from across the globe to our city. The countdown really is on now with one year to go for this fantastic event, which will showcase York on the international stage. We are delighted to be working with the Rugby League World Cup team and organisations across York to ensure the event is an incredible city-wide celebration residents and visitors can enjoy. “

Jon Flatman, Chairman, York City Knights said
: “This is another key milestone on the road to the Rugby League World Cup coming to York and we are hugely excited to celebrate this one year to go mark. The event is fantastic for the city and we are looking forward to working with partners to ensure a long-lasting legacy across the community and for sport in York. We can’t wait to play host to some of the most amazing sporting talent in the game and to welcome fans to our city to enjoy this incredible tournament!” 

* Should you miss out on tickets when your match ballot is drawn, ‘Powerplay’ automatically puts you into the ballot for tickets to the same match but in the next price category up. RLWC2021 will run the lowest priced ballots first so if you use Powerplay, your original choice will always be given priority.


For more information please contact:

Amy Goodman – Consumer Communications Manager

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive


For more information about the RLWC2021 please contact Michael Gibson, Communications and PR Lead at RLWC2021 on or 07435556074

Notes to editors


The Rugby League World Cup is the pinnacle major event of rugby league, globally contested every four years. RLWC2021 will be a breakthrough moment in the tournament’s history with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being staged together for the first time.

The three tournaments will take place across 21 venues throughout England. Both the women’s and wheelchair competitions will be contested by two groups of four teams, whilst the men’s tournament will see 16 teams compete across four groups.

RLWC2021 will be the most visible rugby league event in history with all 61 games in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being broadcast live on the BBC.

Mission: Delivering the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup.

Vision:Creating inspirational moments that excite, engage and leave a long-lasting legacy.

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