• The biggest, best and most inclusive Rugby League World Cup ever is just one year away.
  • Hosts England will open the tournament when they play Samoa on 23 October 2021 at St James’ Park, Newcastle.
  • Public ticket ballot is now open for applications and will remain open until 16 November 2020 at 20:21 GMT. Applications can be made via:
  • To celebrate the one year to go milestone, RLWC2021 organisers have released “The Power of Together” declaration by Manchester poet Tony Walsh, aka Longfella.

With exactly one year to go until hosts England take on Samoa at St James’ Park, world renowned poet and proud Northerner Tony Walsh today captures the passion, excitement and community pride that epitomises the unique and inclusive spirit of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021).

The poem, ‘The Power of Together’, is a rallying call from Manchester-born Walsh, also known as Longfella, for communities across the world to look excitedly ahead to the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup in history next autumn.

As the public ticket ballot opens for this unique global sporting event – that will see the men’s, women’s and wheelchair World Cup tournaments taking place simultaneously for the first time ever – Walsh urges fans to not miss out and play their part in making the tournament one to remember: “Help us bring it, help us sing it; help us make the planet tremble, The Rugby League World Cup is coming. Squads assemble!”

The public ticket ballot – another first in Rugby League World Cup history – opened at 9:00(am) BST 23 October 2020 (today) and will remain open for applications until Monday, 16 November 2020 at 20:21 (pm) GMT.

Fans will be able to apply for tickets for each of the 61 matches across all three tournaments, with tickets in every price category at every match available.

Supporters are also reminded that the ballot does not work on first come, first served basis and all applications submitted at any time before or on the 16 November will be assessed equally.

Following the unprecedented demand during the Rugby League family priority access sale, fans are encouraged to apply for a wide selection of matches or use the Powerplay option* to have better chance of seeing their favourite team play at RLWC2021.

The public ticket ballot will be the last opportunity to secure a seat at the 2020 promotional rates, before prices increase from 1 January 2021. Tournament organisers have also guaranteed a refund for all ticket buyers should there be restrictions on crowds at the event or should the tournament be cancelled.

To apply for tickets in the public ticket ballot, applicants must register an account via the official Rugby League World Cup 2021 Ticketing website, which can be accessed via:

Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 CEO, said today: “We are thrilled that a figure such as Tony who, like Rugby League, is a huge part of Northern culture has helped us mark a year to go to the tournament with this iconic poem and video – filmed at the RLWC2021 tournament final venue – Old Trafford, Manchester.”

‘’Tony captures everything that is great about the sport and the tournament, particularly the special way it is woven into the fabric of local communities  and the positive social impact the tournament is delivering through a clear purpose.”

“23 October is a landmark day for the tournament as it not only starts the one-year countdown but represents a moment of opportunity welcome more fans to the sport through the public ticket ballot.”

Dutton explained: “England has a rich history of staging exceptional global events and sporting moments with phenomenal public support. We know the Rugby League World Cup 2021 will be no different and fans will turn out in record numbers to support the event and be part of sporting history next autumn.”

World renowned poet, Tony Walsh, added: “Themes like passion and a sense of community are often features of my poetry and few sports can rival Rugby League for these things.”

“So the invitation to capture the spirit of the game and to help build excitement for a world class sporting event, right here on our doorsteps, was one that I couldn’t resist.”

“Sport has a unique capacity to unite and inspire us and we need that more than ever in these most challenging of times. 12 months to go. “Squads assemble!”

Fans are reminded to only apply and buy tickets through the official ticketing website. Affordable and fair ticket pricing is a key priority for the Rugby League World Cup 2021. Tickets for the tournament are in high demand, which can regrettably lead to third parties attempting to take advantage of genuine fans. We are committed to taking action against such activity and have put in place a range of measures to tackle the problem.

For the full ticketing details visit:

* Should you miss out on tickets when your match ballot is drawn, ‘Powerplay’ automatically puts you into the ballot for tickets to the same match but in the next price category up. RLWC2021 will run the lowest priced ballots first so if you use Powerplay, your original choice will always be given priority.

By Joshua Chapman