The schedule for the Police Rugby League World Cup has been announced and will see current champions Fiji, Australia and host nation Great Britain go head to head in a round-robin format with matches across West Yorkshire, including at Featherstone Rovers’ Bigfellas Stadium.
The two leading teams will meet as part of the Festival of World Cups Finals Day at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Sunday, July 14.
At the tournament’s launch Mark Burns-Williamson, police and crime commissioner for West Yorkshire, said: “I am delighted that the Police Rugby League World Cup is taking place in West Yorkshire.
“It is a great opportunity for all of the players in the tournament to celebrate the great game of Rugby League and to challenge for international honours, whilst representing their nation’s police force.
“All of the games will be highly competitive and will demonstrate the quality of police sport. It is also a great opportunity for the local communities to engage with the police through some of the out-reach work that the Great Britain Police Rugby League team will be undertaking as part of the build-up to the tournament.”
For the Great Britain Police Rugby League team, the World Cup being played on home soil offers a unique opportunity to raise awareness of Rugby League being played in the police forces and also offers the chance for the squad to engage in some community activities during the Festival of World Cups period.
“During the last World Cup in Australia in 2008 we undertook a number of community initiatives, such as visiting the children’s hospitals in the area,” explained British Police Rugby League president Ian Seabridge.
“This time around we intend to be working with organisations such as Safer Leeds and Kirklees Council, to engage our players with community safety projects that are taking place in the area.
“On the field our coaching staff, led by former Bradford Bulls men Mark Robinson and John Hamer, have been preparing hard for the World Cup, which has included a couple of tough warm-up games against the Royal Air Force and the British Army which have attracted some good local following at Siddal and Stanningley respectively.
“We know that the Australians have been preparing very well and, of course, Fiji are the World Champions, so all three games are shaping up to be very entertaining.”
The full fixture list for the Police Rugby League World Cup is:
Great Britain v Australia
Friday, July 5 - Tetley’s Stadium, Dewsbury
Australia v Fiji
Monday, July 8 - Bigfellas Stadium, Featherstone
Fiji v Great Britain
Thursday, July 11 - Provident Stadium, Bradford
Police Rugby League World Cup Final
Sunday, July 14 - Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Leeds