Rugby Union World Cup 2021: Australia has not yet accepted its participation but the event will take place

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Australia beat England in Brisbane to win 2017 Men’s Rugby Union World Cup

Australia have not signed the Rugby Union World Cup participation agreement although organizers have confirmed it will be held in England this fall, the tournament chief said.

The men’s, women’s and wheelchair events will all take place simultaneously in October and November.

Australia holds the male and female titles.

RLWC2021 chief executive Jon Dutton said BBC Radio 5 Live’s Rugby League Australia podcast has yet to sign.

However, he added: “We are incredibly confident that they will sign the deal and send strong teams to all three competitions.”

There are issues regarding Covid-19 regulations and quarantine rules for players and staff returning to Australia and New Zealand.

Australia’s borders are currently closed, so anyone returning must spend 14 days in government-managed quarantine.

There are reports that Australian National Rugby League (NRL) teams want the tournament postponed to next yearexternal link because these regulations mean that players would only return to their clubs two weeks before the start of try-out matches for the 2022 NRL season.

Rugby league officials estimate that around 400 to 500 players, staff and team leaders from NRL teams, representing several different countries, would be involved.

Dutton said RLWC2021 will continue to work with the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) and was “respectful” of the challenges Australia and the NRL are currently facing.

Sydney is in lockdown and 12 NRL teams have moved to queenslandexternal link in a bio-secure bubble to ensure the end of the 2021 season.

England face Samoa in the opening match of the men’s tournament at St James’ Park in Newcastle on 23 October.

“We have a lot of work to do over the next 100 days,” said Dutton, who added that there was no deadline for Australia’s signing.

“We will do it to the best of our ability, we will be professional and respectful, but with this drive and determination to put on the best Rugby World Cup ever.”

Dutton said cancellation and postponement to 2022 were options, but the latter was “significantly unpleasant” with the Men’s World Cup, European Women’s Championships and Commonwealth Games taking place this year. next.

He said there was “a contingency in place” if Australia did not agree to play and that there were “a number of nations that would step up if a nation did not participate for some reason. to the three tournaments “.

These issues have raised fears that Australia will field teams that lack their strongest players.

Dutton said any “normal tournament” would wipe out some of the best athletes in the sport due to “injuries and other circumstances” and that the “pandemic has added to that”.

“We have spoken to the players and we know what it means to them and we think the enormous pride of the players will shine through,” he said.

“We think this will ensure that the athletes will arrive. Are they all going to happen? They clearly won’t, but it’s no different from any other tournament.”

Wales head coach John Kear said it would “not be at all detrimental” if Australia did not send their strongest team to the men’s tournament and still field one ” very representative team “because of its in-depth strength.

He added that he expected players to “stand up to their clubs” and that even if “some clubs do not release their players, Australia will always put on a quality squad”.

There will be 61 matches across the three tournaments, played at 21 venues, live on the BBC.

The men’s final is scheduled for November 27 in a doubles program with the women’s final at Old Trafford in Manchester.

The women’s tournament is scheduled to start on November 9 and the wheelchair event is scheduled to run from November 11 to 26.

Dutton said the event is a “seminal” and perhaps “transformative” time for the sport and that they are ready to host a “safe tournament and celebration of rugby” which could also be a “celebration of the game. ‘humanity, for everything we’ve been through “with the pandemic.

“Some of the host cities – St Helens, Warrington, Leigh – have been hit hardest by the pandemic but may never host a World Cup game in any other sport, so now is the time to shine.” , he added.

“The Men’s European Championships have united the nation and we can do it nationally and globally.”

Kear said it was “absolutely vital” for the tournament to go ahead and “to lift the spirits of the nation”.

He added: “People will look back 20 to 30 years from now and they will see that this was an important piece of rugby league history.”

Marking 100 days before the tournament started on Thursday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “After the challenges of the past 18 months where the positive impact of the Rugby League in communities has shone, the moment when the men’s teams, women and in wheelchairs entering the field will be a defining moment for the sport and the country. “

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