Wales receive Sport Wales boost ahead of World Cup

Wales Rugby League’s senior team’s preparation for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup in Australia has been given a significant boost by Sport Wales who have allocated funding support from their performance budgets to the National Governing Body for the first time in their history.

Prior to this year, Sport Wales have only allocated funding towards Wales Rugby League’s community, governance and coaching programmes, all of which will continue to be supported.

The Sport Wales funding is £75,170 for 12 months, beginning on April 1st, and is split by £50,000 towards the community and governance work and a £25,000 boost towards performance.

A delighted Wales Rugby League CEO Chris Thair said: “We would like to thank Sport Wales for believing in what we are trying to achieve. The total investment from Sport Wales into Rugby League this year is the highest ever recorded and marks a 47% increase compared to last year’s grant so we are naturally delighted with the outcome.

“The reason for the increase is down to the additional National Performance support from Sport Wales’ Elite Sport lottery funds. We understand this is a special one off from Sport Wales as it is World Cup year and as current European Champions they recognise the progress we’ve made both on and off the field.

“The additional performance funding will be put towards a pre-tournament training camp in North Wales requested by Wales head coach John Kear and travelling to the World Cup two days earlier to help the squad climatise before their crucial first game against Papua New Guinea.

“The Sport Wales investment into Wales Rugby League is around 15% of our total turnover, however it looks after our very core activities which in turn help generate everything else we do. This funding, along with that from the Rugby Football League, is vital to ongoing success of Wales Rugby League.”

WRL Chairman Brian Juliff said: “This investment will certainly help our chances in the World Cup and we thank our partners Sport Wales for their ongoing support. The management team should take great in more than doubling the investment levels from Sport Wales in the last five years compared to the previous five. £308,000 from 2013 to 2017 compared to £133,000 from 2008-12 is a rise of 131%. We are going in the right direction, the sport is making good annual progress and this news is a timely boost in a very significant year for the sport.

“The level of Sport Wales investment into Wales Rugby League is still very small when compared to other sports in Wales and even smaller when compared to our English neighbours. However our challenge is to continually improve and help increase participation levels beyond the current 1,600 club players. We feel we are doing that and the sport is making good progress.”

Wales’ next game will be away against Papua New Guinea in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup starting in October. Wales enter the tournament six games unbeaten and as current European Champions and have some mouth-watering opposition in their three opening group games. Click here for a full World Cup fixture list and to buy tickets.


Opening 2017 Rugby League World Cup Games: 

28th October        Papua New Guinea v Wales     Port Moresby, PNG

5th November       Fiji v Wales                            Townsville, Australia

12th November    Wales v Ireland                       Perth, Australia


For details on how to sponsor Wales in their World Cup campaign, please email


Sport Wales Annual Investment Levels into Wales Rugby League

Year Award Note
2017/18 £75,170 Rise due to one off £25k towards senior World Cup participation.

The community funding dropped by 2% to 50,170 (all sports received this)

2016/17 £51,041
2015/16 £52,388
2014/15 £54,750
3 months Jan-Mar £15,000 extended by three months as on same rate as WRL moved financial year
2013 £60,000
2012 £37,200
2011 £35,750
2010 £34,750
2009 £25,500
2008 £7000
2007 £7000
2006 0
2005 £5000


5 year Comparisons of Investment Levels

2013-17:  £308,349 (figure includes an additional 3 months)

2008-12:  £133,200

Increase of 131%