Squads on the Tyne Festival

Photo credit to Chris Lishman Photography

  • RLWC2021, in conjunction with the Newcastle Rugby Foundation, the North of Tyne Combined Authority and Newcastle City Council, will host the Squads on the Tyne festival in Newcastle from Friday 14 October – Sunday 16 October 2022.
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  • The opening Weekend will see England Men face Samoa Men at St. James Park followed by Scotland Men taking on Italy Men at Kingston Park.
  • Registration for the Squads on the Tyne festival will be open from 9:00am on Tuesday 25 January.

Rugby League World Cup 2021 organisers, in conjunction with The Newcastle Rugby Foundation, the North of Tyne Combined Authority and Newcastle City Council, have today (25th January) announced details of the Squads on the Tyne Festival.

The Squads on the Tyne festival will kickstart the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup to date. Scheduled for Friday 14 October through to Sunday 16 October, the event will be an opportunity for teams from across the country to be part of RLWC2021’s blockbuster opening weekend.

The three-day festival will take place at Kingston Park and will be open to schools (primary and secondary), junior Rugby League clubs, mixed touch rugby and masters RL (35+) teams. In a first for Squads on the Tyne, PDRL (Physical Disability Rugby League) and LDRL (Learning Disability Rugby League) teams will also compete across the weekend.

Opening on Friday 14 October, the region’s primary and secondary schools, along with the masters RL teams from across the country, will kickstart the festival. The community event has been made possible with funding from the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s Tourism & Events Programme

As well as the junior clubs and touch rugby action across the morning, Saturday 15 October will see the Men’s tournament spring to life with the opening ceremony followed by Group A action as hosts, England Men, take on Samoa Men at St. James Park at 14:30 (BST).

The entertainment continues Sunday 16 October, as the junior girl’s teams take to the field at Kingston Park to conclude the festival ahead of Scotland Men taking on Italy Men at 14:30 (BST).

Melanie Magee, Head of the Newcastle Rugby Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting one of the biggest festivals of Rugby League that has ever been staged.

“Our thanks go to the North of Tyne Combined Authority for supporting our plans to stage such an inclusive celebration of the sport. The continued support of Newcastle City Council is also appreciated, and we are expecting teams from across the United Kingdom and beyond. We look forward to extending our famous Geordie welcome to all.”

RLWC2021’s Social Impact Director, Tracy Power, said: “Communities are at the heart of RLWC2021, and the Squads on the Tyne Festival is a great way to celebrate the Power of Together and kick-off the tournament.

“To host PDRL and LDRL teams as well as the Masters (over 35s) participants, displays the inclusive nature of the festival. It is fantastic that community players will have the opportunity to watch the best players compete in the World Cup on the same weekend that the festival takes place.”

Cllr John-Paul Stephenson, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for Public Health and Culture, said: “One of the most important aspects of hosting a major international sporting event like RLWC2021 is the legacy it leaves on the region and our local communities.

“The men’s, women’s, and wheelchair world cups will be undoubtedly fantastic for English Rugby League, but the Squads on the Tyne Festival, on the opening weekend of World Cup action, will leave rugby players and their families from the North East and further afield with lasting memories of being involved in a global sporting event.

“This is a fantastic addition to an already exciting schedule for the city, and I’m really looking forward to all the action kicking off in the Autumn.”

Cllr Glen Sanderson of North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Culture, Creative and Rural and Leader of Northumberland County Council said:

“It’s fantastic to see a high-profile event like the Rugby League World Cup staged in this region, bringing a range of positive economic and social rewards with it. The Squads on the Tyne Festival harnesses the enthusiasm towards the tournament to engage people from all walks of life to participate in a healthy and enjoyable way. We hope that people will continue to benefit in the long term, whether it be playing, volunteering, working or spectating. We are delighted to be supporting the festival and look forward to seeing it in all its glory in October.” Registration for the Squads on the Tyne festival are open now. For more information, visit https://www.rlwc2021.com/squads-on-the-tyne