Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) has announced that HRH The Duke of Sussex will host the tournament draws at Buckingham Palace on 16th January 2020.
The draws, which will see the 16 men’s, eight women’s and eight wheelchair nations placed into groups for their respective tournaments, will take place at the Palace and streamed live across the RLWC2021 and The Royal Family’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.
CEO, RLWC2021 Jon Dutton said: “We are delighted and honoured that The Duke of Sussex will be hosting the draws from one of the most famous landmarks in the world. His achievements in driving inclusivity in sport with the Invictus Games and his wider projects within rugby league makes him the perfect fit for the draw.
“I am looking forward to seeing who the nations are drawn against, which will really spark the countdown. There’s one thing that’s certain, we’re going to be treated to some world-class rugby league across all three tournaments.”
Prince Harry has been Patron of the RFL since 2016, when he succeeded Her Majesty the Queen, and also presented the 2019 Challenge Cup trophy to the Warrington Wolves at Wembley Stadium on 24th August. He has recently decided to step back from his role as a 'senior' Royal.
The 2021 World Cup will be the first time that the men’s, women’s and wheelchair events are held simultaneously, and will kick off with the men’s opening ceremony on 23rd October 2021 at St James’ Park in Newcastle. Other fixtures will be held across the country including in the Emirates Stadium, Anfield, the Copper Box Arena. The men’s and women’s finals will both take place at Manchester’s Old Trafford on the same day.
The January 2020 tournament draw will also reveal the opening fixtures for each tournament, all of which will include the host nation, England.