Westminster support for rugby league

Jonny Lomax in World Cup action
Jonny Lomax in World Cup action
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Saints’ fan Marie Rimmer was one of the All-Party Rugby League group of MPs who met Jake Berry, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, at a special meeting in the Palace of Westminster this month.

The St Helens-born 70-year-old Parliamentarian, who takes her seat at the Totally Wicked Stadium whenever she can, joined peers, other MP’s and associate members to listen to a presentation on the Tory Government’s support for the 13-a-side code through the Northern Powerhouse.

Westminster has committed to delivering £25 million in support for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, including £15 million for the staging of the tournament in the Northern Powerhouse and £10 million for Rugby League infrastructure. The sport’s governing body in England, The Rugby Football League, is also an official partner of the Northern Powerhouse.

Speaking after the meeting, All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group chair person and MP Bradford South, Judith Cummins MP, said: “Rugby League has delivered huge benefits to communities across the North of England for many years, and I am pleased that the government is able to support the game through the Northern Powerhouse.

“It will be fantastic to see the women’s, men’s and wheelchair Rugby League World Cups return to England in 2021, and I hope that the government’s support for Rugby League infrastructure will provide a lasting legacy for the whole country.

“I thank the Minister for taking the time to meet with group members, and look forward to working with him to support Rugby League in the coming years.”

Mr Berry, the Conservative MP for Rossendale and Darwen, said: “The Government is delighted to support the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England, and it will be fitting to see the tournament brought back to the sport’s heartlands in the north of England.

“The tournament will be a fantastic spectacle, and will bring economic benefits to host towns and cities across the Northern Powerhouse. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the RLIF, RFL, UK Sport and Members of the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group to support a world class event.”