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Rugby League Provision Developing Ahead Of Showpiece Tournament

27 September 2022

Preston North End Community and Education Trust [PNECET] is working alongside Preston City Council, the Rugby Football League and the University of Central Lancashire to develop participation and interest in rugby league ahead of next month’s Rugby League World Cup.

Ryan Allen has been in post as Rugby League Development Officer since September 2020 to lead on all aspects of rugby league delivery, which over the past two years has seen the Trust reach new primary schools and deliver across numerous community settings.

The power and appeal of the football club has continued to be utilised during those activities, with participants involved having the opportunity to win PNE themed prizes, while occasionally receiving invites to watch fixtures at Deepdale.

The showpiece Rugby League World Cup tournament had been scheduled for last autumn, but will now be played from this October following last year’s postponement due to the pandemic, during which time the Trust will lead on the delivery of several grassroots rugby league activities in Preston.

The Wales national team will be based at UCLan Sports Arena for training during the tournament, which is being played at several venues across the north of England,

As part of the development of the sport in Preston, the Trust has supported the formation of a new rugby league club in the city, the Preston and South Ribble Rabbitohs, which first came to the fore earlier this year and has now seen an U13 team in action.

The U13 side recently played their first match – against the Accrington Wildcats, also formed as part of the development work of Wigan Warriors’ Community Foundation ahead of the World Cup – and they even had the opportunity to play in PNE kit.

Reflecting on that first game, Ryan Allen said: “The whole day was a huge success from start to finish.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to begin our journey than by linking up with a fellow Lancashire team in Accrington Wildcats, and together we can hope to inspire more people to play rugby league in the future as the World Cup gets closer.”

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