RFL chief executive Nigel Wood determined to build on success of hosting 2013 World Cup

Last Updated: 02/12/13 3:27pm

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Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood believes the sport will capitalise on the success of hosting the World Cup.

Over 450,000 fans watched the 28 matches while Saturday's final between Australia and New Zealand was the best attended international rugby league match of all time.

Although the sport traditionally has a northern following, 59 per cent of buyers came from London and the south east, and Wood told Sky Sports News that the RFL are keen to build a lasting legacy.

"It's been a wonderful six weeks for the sport," said Wood, who was also tournament director for the 2013 World Cup.

"It's been a wonderful tournament with some great athletic action on the field and terrific attendances. It's a major boost for the sport in this country.

"Just under half of the crowd at Wembley for the semi-finals were new to the sport.

"There's a little bit of the Olympic halo effect there; people are attracted to big events and anyone who did turn up would have been impressed by the quality of the contest served up on the field.

"International sport is a real opportunity to showcase the very best of any sport, and it's one that we're not going to miss."


Wood is "confident but not complacent" about building on the success of the World Cup, and says the RFL are working hard behind the scenes to resolve the problems affecting Super League, such as London Broncos' intention to enter administration and the failure to attract a headline sponsor.

"Just because we've hosted a World Cup doesn't mean that we're not working on these issues as well," said Wood.

"There are meetings on Monday on issues such as sponsorship, which will hopefully result in some good news for the sport.

"Also, one of the actions this week is to resolve the future of London Broncos. There is a lot of goodwill towards that club and they've got a very committed owner.

"The RFL are supporting the people who are interested in promoting rugby league in London as much as we can."

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