Rugby League World Cup 2021 chief executive Jon Dutton addressed the potential threat to the tournament posed by Coronavirus at a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Dutton spoke in detail about the current state of play regarding elements including broadcast deals, commercial support, stadium availability.

RL NEWS was in attendance and we live blogged the whole event.

Scroll down to read everything that was discussed.

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  • That’s a wrap! The press conference has now ended.

  • The press conference is now concluding. Dutton closes by noting that “these are incredible times” and says the tournament will continue to be pro-active and responsive.

  • Dutton admits that the tournament may not go ahead if the NRL cannot provide its athletes to compete due to a disrupted schedule.

  • Dutton says there will be a dance element to the World Cup legacy programme, including a choir. He says the programme will engage with people throughout communities who may not have previously interacted with Rugby League. He says that work in the local communities will have a lasting impact.

  • Dutton says a contingency plan is in place that can be enacted if disruption becomes a major issue. He says that while budget is unspent, it is allocated, though insists finances can be made to work for any purpose.

  • Dutton is confident the tournament can rally support from the new competing nations’ Governments ahead of and during the tournament. He notes the impact of the Buckingham Palace event on this.

  • Dutton says the tournament is following World Health Organisation guidance in all of its planning.

  • Dutton says tournament chiefs would welcome opportunity to speak to colleagues at Super League and NRL to share knowledge during the current difficulties. There’s an open offer for colleagues across the sport.

  • Dutton says there will be further conversations with the BBC regarding their commitment to cover every minute of every game at the tournament. He admits broadcaster will be impacted by postponement of Euros and Olympics, but says their commitment remains firm.

  • Dutton says ticket targets remain the same, despite Coronavirus disruption, though he says impact on disposable income has been a factor in ticket pricing. Tickets for children will start at £2.21 for some games at the tournament.