Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Old Trafford 'Perfect Stage' for World Final

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Old Trafford 'Perfect Stage' for World Final

Article excerpt

KEVIN Sinfield believes Old Trafford is the perfect place to host Rugby League's 2021 World Cup final.

United's home yesterday beat off competition from Wembley to hold the showpiece finale to the tournament.

Oldham-born legend of the game Sinfield played at Old Trafford in no less than eight Super League Grand Finals, winning seven, so it is understandable the iconic stadium holds some very fond memories.

Sinfield as the RFL's rugby director will help to prepare the England teams at men's, women's and wheelchair level for the tournament, which will culminate in a double header of both men's and women's finals at Old Trafford in November 2021.

"I think it's huge," he said. "It's an iconic venue. It's a stadium that's linked with one of the most famous football clubs in the world and rugby league has a history of hosting great events there.

"It's a fantastic venue and for our final to be there on the grandest of grand stages is really, really positive for the sport."

England suffered heartbreak in the 2017 tournament Down Under, losing the final 6-0 to Australia, and will hope to go one step further with home advantage.

"There's a belief growing within the men's team, but also the women's team and the wheelchair programme as well," said Sinfield.

"There's a little bit of confidence and I hope that over the next couple of years those three programmes can continue to work hard together, build some momentum and continue building the belief that we already have."

The final at Old Trafford will provide opportunities for players who may not make it to a Super League Grand Final with their clubs to get there with England - and Salford fullback Niall Evalds, who toured Papua New Guinea with England Knights in the off-season, may be one such example.

Sinfield added: "I think when you look at, not just Old Trafford, but St James' Park, the Emirates, Anfield, Bramhall Lane, there's some fantastic venues for the World Cup that if you're not involved in those big domestic games, you don't get the chance to play there. …

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