Three Lions Week to boost participation ahead of Rugby League World Cup

RL legend Sean O’Loughlin encourages people to support England and the Rugby League in the Three Lions week kick-off video.

Clubs hold initiation sessions, tournaments and open houses throughout Three Lions week (September 25 to October 2).

With the Rugby World Cup in England just weeks away, the Rugby Football League (RFL) today announced a Three Lions Week to encourage more people to get involved in Rugby League.

From September 25 to October 2, clubs across the country will open their doors as part of Three Lions Week and encourage people of all ages and abilities to ‘try Rugby League’ through activities, tournaments and open days, organized by club foundations.

Part of the InspiredBy campaign linking the RFL and RLWC2021, and aimed at boosting participation in the sport before, during and after the World Cup, Three Lions Week gives people the opportunity to learn from the best – with professional club players invited to come down and join the sessions.

With activities for everyone, it kicks off a historic few months for the sport – the World Cup is set to be the most inclusive tournament in RL history with men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions organized on the same platform.

Sean O’Loughlin OBE, who played 36 times for England and Great Britain and captained at the last World Cup in 2017, said:

“Rugby League is a sport for everyone and Three Lions Week provides a fantastic opportunity to build excitement and support ahead of the World Cup.

“The tournament is only six weeks away, and we want everyone to support our England teams, whether they are die-hard Rugby League fans or new fans of the sport.

“My former community club Wigan St Patricks will play its part and there are plenty of others where young people are first introduced to the sport and are so important in their communities.

“It’s already been a great year for sport in England with the victory of the Lionesses at the Euros and the success of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Now is Rugby League time – and I want everyone to make the most of it.

RFL Head of Growth Thomas Brindle explains:

“The Rugby World Cup this autumn presents Rugby League with a unique opportunity, and with the InspiredBy campaign including Three Lions Week, we are determined to seize the moment.

“We have been working for five years since the last World Cup to build Women’s and Women’s Rugby League, Disabled and Learning Disabled Rugby League, and Wheelchair Play – all to give us the platform to attract more players and fans.

“The return of legends like Sean O’Loughlin to their community clubs during Three Lions week will be inspiring as we urge rugby fans and sports fans to support our England teams this autumn, enjoy Rugby League World Cup and try the Rugby League.

InspiredBy is the biggest player recruitment campaign ever in sport and is an example of RFL’s ongoing commitment to developing the sport and supporting clubs and their foundations across the country.

As part of the campaign, last month the RFL offered community clubs across the country a grant to help them organize a festival or similar event in August.

The Three Lions week kicks off the day after the Betfred Super League grand final at Old Trafford, as attention turns to the Rugby League World Cup which kicks off when the England men take on Samoa at Newcastle on October 15 – with the women kicking off their campaign against Brazil at Headingley on November 1 and England Wheelchair taking on Australia in a heavyweight opener at London’s Copper Box Arena on November 3.

To find out more about the Three Lions Week activity and the InspiredBy campaign, visit: Rugby League.

Charles P. Patton