University of York hosts Rugby World Cup teams


The women's French and Australian teams will use University and York Sport facilities

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Image by Vicky Mathers, From left to right: Grace Field (England RL International), Ben Fry (Town Cryer), Jodie Cunningham ( England RL International), Adam Prentis (York City Knights Foundation), Keith Morris (University of York), Paul Ramskill (City of York Council)

By Chris Stapleton

It’s game on as the University of York and York Sport gear up to host the training of the Women’s French and Australian teams partaking in the Rugby League World Cup 2022.

The University’s own grass pitches and athletic stadium, as well as the pitches, swimming pool, and conditioning gym facilities at the York Sport Village, will be used by both teams upon their arrival on the 26 October.

Following the City of York’s selection as one of the Rugby League World Cup game and training hosts, the University was chosen to accommodate both teams. This will be in preparation for the sixteenth staging of the competition, held in England from 15 October to 19 November.

As well as the LNER Community Stadium’s hosting of a women’s group game and both women's semi-finals, the city itself will be the team base for the men’s New Zealand team and the women’s teams from Australia, New Zealand, France, and the Cook Islands.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charlie Jeffery, expressed his enthusiasm around the opportunity granted to the University of York and its grounds:

“We are excited to welcome the Rugby League World Cup teams to the University of York in collaboration with the City of York and partners across the region.”

He went on to elaborate the communal benefits which such an opportunity could would bring for the university, and the encouraging impact it could have on all students who wish to be involved with, or who are perhaps apprehensive about, sporting life.

“A major sporting event like this has such a positive impact on our community, inspiring some to take part in sport for fun, others to push their limits, and others still to cheer and support from the sidelines.”

The University of York is home to over 60 active sports clubs, as well as a York Sport Union Committee who actively ensure that any and every student can get involved, regardless of experience or skill.

Keith Morris, Head of Sport at the University of York and Chair of Active York, had these words to add on the process of the collaboration:

“It has been a long time in the planning, and we are looking forward to welcoming the Australian and France women's squad to the city and to train on our beautiful campus and York Sport facilities.”

He then continued with the university’s hopes to encourage more women in sport:

“We have relished being part of the wide ranging engagement and activities in the run up to the event. Having seen the impact of our RLWC21 schools’ day of inspiration back in June and other events across the city I believe that the presence of teams training and competing in the RLWC21 in York, will further inspire and impact our community, particularly on women’s and girls’ sport.”

York Sport Union President Franki Riley concurred with the excitement of both Jeffery and Morris, and the positive impact the opportunity will have upon the sporting world within the University of York:

“We are so excited to welcome the French and Australian women's teams to our University for the Rugby League World Cup.

“We know this will have a large positive impact on our student athletes who will no doubt be inspired by the teams training on campus.

“It is great for us to also be playing a part in elevating the profile of women's sport and believe that the women’s rugby teams are great role models to our students. We're excited for the opportunity to showcase the University of York as a sports university by hosting world cup teams on our very own campus."