Pivotal Year For Grassroots Rugby League
RFL Director of Participation David Gent is predicting that the Rugby League World Cup will leave a lasting legacy that will see more people playing Rugby League more often than ever before.
The 14-nation tournament kicks off in October at the end of the community game's second season as a predominantly summer-based sport and Gent expects the successes of 2012 to continue as grassroots Rugby League grows from strength to strength.
The RFL has recently concluded a comprehensive review of the historic 2012 season which included feedback from over 3,000 Rugby League players who completed an online survey.
Preparations are now well underway for the second summer season with the completion of the sport's first ever fully integrated calendar which for 2013 covers all levels of the sport across the country from under-7s junior leagues through to the World Cup.
David Gent said: "2013 will be massive for the sport at grassroots level and we hope that the World Cup will inspire the next generation of Rugby League players.
"We've got the match completion figures from last season and despite 2012 being the wettest year ever in England, the number of matches that were completed overall is higher than in previous seasons.
"This bodes well for the sport's second March to November season, everyone has learnt a lot from the first campaign and we're confident that this season will see even more people playing Rugby League.
"During the off-season we have carried out a major review of the 2012 season and over 3,000 players completed the online survey. This has provided a wealth of feedback and suggestions.
"Having a fully integrated calendar across all levels of the sport for the first time ever will benefit the whole sport and ensure that there are more people playing more Rugby League, more often.
"The schedule covers men's, women's, wheelchair, youth and junior and masters Rugby League and includes all major events such as the Grand Final and Challenge Cup Final.
"This allows us to plan all cup competitions in an integrated manner and the aim is to ensure that competitions and key dates across all tiers of the sport don't clash."
For more information on how to get involved in Rugby League please visit the RFL's official website www.therfl.co.uk
The Halliwell Jones Stadium is to host a group game between Samoa and New Zealand on Sunday 27th October and a Quarter Final in November.
17, Jan, 2013