World Cup organisers aim to fill Headingley for England women's opener against Brazil as countdown reaches one year

Today marks a year until the start of the women’s Rugby League World Cup in Leeds.

Monday, 9th November 2020, 6:00 am
England's Jodie Cunningham and Francesca Bunting, who hopes to represent Brazil, at Emerald Headingley where the women's World Cup will begin.

England will kick off the tournament against Brazil at Emerald Headingley on Tuesday, November 9.

The tie is part of a group A double-header also featuring Papua New Guinea’s meeting with Canada.

Jon Dutton, chief executive of Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021), predicted: “There will be a fantastic carnival atmosphere at that opening fixture between England and the Brazilian Amazonas, the perfect curtain raiser to our women’s tournament.

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“We’re hoping for a full house at the Emerald Headingley Stadium to get the tournament off to the ideal start and we’re confident our pricing

structure, as well as the chance to see our hosts England against the newcomers Brazil, will bring in the crowds.”

RLWC2021 today announced 50 pence from every ticket transaction will go to the competition’s official charity partner Unicef UK, to help with its work in this country and Brazil.

Dutton added: “Sport has a unique ability to unite and inspire people and through this partnership we hope to shine a light on children’s rights and raise awareness regarding the challenges children face in the UK and all around the world.”

Brazil are coached by Mat Gardner, a former Leeds Rhinos academy player who made one appearance for Castleford Tigers in 2004.

Their possible squad includes just one English-based player, Francesca Bunting, who lives in St Albans, but qualifies to play for Brazil through her grandmother.

Looking ahead to the opening tie, Bunting said: “It is an unbelieveable opportunity.

“It is Brazil’s first World Cup and the first South American representation from women in the World Cup.

“To get the chance to step out at Headingley in the satarting game would be amazing.

“There are so many people behind it and excited about it.

“The game has grown massively [in Brazil].

“It has only really had a presence since 2013 and for the women’s game to have grown that quickly is amazing.”

England will kick off the tournament against Brazil at Emerald Headingley on Tuesday, November 9.

The tie is part of a group A double-header also featuring Papua New Guinea’s meeting with Canada.

Jon Dutton, chief executive of Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021), predicted: “There will be a fantastic carnival atmosphere at that opening fixture between England and the Brazilian Amazonas, the perfect curtain raiser to our women’s tournament.

“We’re hoping for a full house at the Emerald Headingley Stadium to get the tournament off to the ideal start and we’re confident our pricing

structure, as well as the chance to see our hosts England against the newcomers Brazil, will bring in the crowds.”

RLWC2021 today announced 50 pence from every ticket transaction will go to the competition’s official charity partner Unicef UK, to help with its work in this country and Brazil.

Dutton added: “Sport has a unique ability to unite and inspire people and through this partnership we hope to shine a light on children’s rights and raise awareness regarding the challenges children face in the UK and all around the world.”

Brazil are coached by Mat Gardner, a former Leeds Rhinos academy player who made one appearance for Castleford Tigers in 2004.

Their possible squad includes just one English-based player, Francesca Bunting, who lives in St Albans, but qualifies to play for Brazil through her grandmother.

Looking ahead to the opening tie, Bunting said: “It is an unbelieveable opportunity.

“It is Brazil’s first World Cup and the first South American representation from women in the World Cup.

“To get the chance to step out at Headingley in the satarting game would be amazing.

“There are so many people behind it and excited about it.

“The game has grown massively [in Brazil].

“It has only really had a presence since 2013 and for the women’s game to have grown that quickly is amazing.”