2022 is set to be a bumper year for Rugby League in the UK, as the Rugby League World Cup heads to our shores for the first time in nine years. There are opportunities for the sport to flourish at all levels as it emerges from the many challenges which Coronavirus has presented. There is an exciting new broadcasting deal in place with Channel 4 joining Sky Sports and the BBC to our screens, allowing more people to see the fast paced, all action matches and increasing the exposure of the sport.
On the back of last year’s successful draw which saw 136 Community Rugby League clubs being supported, Play Fund Win have again teamed up with the RFL and will be running another draw this season with some fantastic rugby prizes – and cash – up for grabs!
We are currently working with Warrington Wolves and England International Stefan Ratchford as he celebrates his testimonial year. We’ll also be hosting a number of other draws with Stefan over the course of the year as he looks to raise money for his four charity partners through a series of events, the first of which is a testimonial game against Wigan Warriors at the Halliwell Jones Stadium this weekend. We are also set to launch draws with a number of clubs, at all levels, as the season gets underway.
Super League begins on February 10, when current Grand Final Winners St Helens begin the defence of their crown and seek to win the Super League title for a fourth consecutive season. There is a new addition to Super League this season in the form of Toulouse Olympique, who double the French contingent. Saints start the season as favourites, with strong challenges expected from Warrington, Catalans Dragons and Wigan Warriors. It’s a similar story in the Women’s Super League as St Helens look to defend their title. The strongest opposition here is expected to come from Leeds Rhinos. These two teams form the nucleus of the England squad who will be looking to challenge Australia when the World Cup comes around.
In the Championship, a number of teams will be pushing for promotion to Super League. Featherstone Rovers and Leigh Centurions lead the way; Leigh were relegated last season and are looking to bounce back at the first opportunity. League One looks a tight affair, with Keighley, Swinton, Doncaster, Oldham and Rochdale expected to mount serious challenges. League One also welcomes Cornwall RLFC as a new team to the league. They have been busy recruiting players ahead of their debut season and will be looking to make an impact.
World Cup-wise, for both the men and the women, Australia are the team to beat, but on home soil England will certainly fancy their chances of making the final. The two games will be held together for the first time, as part of a historic double header at Old Trafford on November 19th.
Like most sports Rugby League has suffered over the last two years, with leagues suspended, games taking place behind closed doors and COVID-19 impacting all levels of the game, particularly grassroots clubs who replied on their clubhouses for the revenue needed to run the clubs. With a drop in sponsorship revenues due to the pandemic, clubs have had to find other ways to fundraise. Now, with restrictions set to be completely lifted, revenue going into clubs is more important than ever. Rugby League has, for years, been caught in several minds around the expansion of the sport, which gets regular TV coverage for both Super League and The Challenge Cup, and with the eyes of the Rugby world on England this year now is the time for the sport to kick on.
At Play Fund Win we can support clubs at all levels, from the grassroots community clubs who produce the Super League stars of the future, to the professional clubs who want to increase revenue for community projects. We offer a variety of different draw types and models, one of which is sure to be suitable for your club.
To find out more, please contact David Broadbent via David.email@example.com or call 07837 274 269 for a chat around what we can do for your club, in what will be a huge year for Rugby League in this Country