The board of the European Rugby League (ERL) has issued the following statement after the organisers announced postponing the 2021 Rugby League World Cup by a year.
‘The ERL board supports the tremendously difficult decision taken to postpone the RLWC2021, recognises the circumstances behind it, and will continue to assist the organisers to deliver the promised biggest and best event ever in 2022.
Given their impact on other nations in respect of the availability of NRL-based players, it is now imperative that the Australian Rugby League Commission and New Zealand Rugby League, who have pressured for the delay, fully deliver on their renewed commitment to this pinnacle event for the sport; it is time for actions, not words.
We recognise the huge logistical effort that must now go into rescheduling dates and acknowledge and appreciate the significant life decisions made by men’s, women’s and wheelchair players and officials who have committed to participate in the greatest tournament the sport can provide, and likewise offer them our support for their continued sacrifices.
In the interim, we will work with our member nations and the International Rugby League (IRL) to consider the calendar for autumn 2021 and beyond, particularly with the now necessary adjustments to 2025 World Cup qualifying processes in the regions.
Further information will be issued on that in due course.’