WRL links up with Preston City Council and UCLan

With Wales’ men’s team based in Preston for Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021), Wales Rugby League (WRL) is entering an exciting partnership with Preston City Council and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to make sure the tournament leaves a lasting legacy in the city.

John Kear’s men will take on Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Cook Islands in next autumn’s tournament, with fixture dates and venues announced later in July. Throughout RLWC2021, Wales will call Preston home and train at UCLan’s first-class sports facilities.

WRL, Preston City Council and UCLan, as well as other organisations in the local area, will all be working closely with one another ahead, during and after the tournament.

WRL Chief Executive Officer Gareth Kear said: “We’re delighted RLWC2021 has based us at Preston for the tournament.

“The facilities we’ll be using are excellent, Preston is an ideal location to a lot of places in the north and we’ll be the only team based in the city.

“A number of our players and coaching staff have links to the area and UCLan in particular so we’re really keen to work in partnership with the University and Preston City Council.

“Not only do we want to make sure our squad has the best environment possible to succeed during the tournament, but we also want to help create a lasting legacy for the city and provide plenty of opportunities for local people to get behind RLWC2021.

“We have an exciting squad made up of players who have largely come through our own systems in Wales.

“We want to highlight the great work going on in Wales during RLWC2021 and inspire future generations to take up Rugby League.”

Mayor of Preston, Councillor David Borrow, said: “We’re excited to work closely with Wales Rugby League to ensure that the Dragons’ stay in the city leaves a lasting impression.

“Rugby League is famous for its family and community inclusions and is a sport on the rise.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Wales team to introduce the people of Preston to this incredible game and leave a lasting legacy throughout Lancashire.”

UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin added: “Our University community is really looking forward to hosting the Welsh team and we’re especially proud to welcome back Rhodri Lloyd, who graduated from UCLan last year.

“Our sports facilities will provide the ideal environment for the Welsh players to prepare for some of the most important games of their careers.

“As we navigate through the effect of COVID-19, the opportunities and impact of RLWC2021 will be wide ranging and, as a University, we are delighted to be working with partners from across the city to maximise the legacy for sport, health, business and the local community.”