Sheffield will play a major role in the upcoming Rugby League World Cup, hosting an England game and the double header semi-finals at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield.
Liam Claffey, general manager of the Sheffield Eagles said; “This decision is fantastic for the city and fantastic for Rugby League in Sheffield, filling Bramall Lane will be a huge economic boost for the sport”.
According to the club, they are hoping to work with the council to start a community outreach programme, with players from around the world going into schools and grassroots clubs to act as role models for aspiring players.
Mr Claffey went on to say: “The city getting an England game is huge, it will mean national exposure as the game will be televised. We’re hoping it will introduce people to the sport, inspiring local people to get involved.”
Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure told Sheffield United: “This exciting event will leave a long-lasting legacy that celebrates the heritage of Rugby League and inspires a whole new generation of rugby fans and players regardless of age, gender or physical ability.”
Sheffield is a host city for the tournament, meaning that local facilities will be used as training grounds, bringing international media attention.
According to Sheffield United’s official statement, the bid was made joint with Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam, Sheffield Eagles, Sheffield International Venues, Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and Scarborough Properties.
Organisers are predicting that the tournament will be watched by 150 million people in 30 different countries and expect this tournament to be the most economically successful yet.