Rugby League World Cup 2021 has announced a new partnership with a UK university.

Manchester Metropolitan University becomes the Official University Partner of the tournament, which sees two organisations collaborate to deliver impactful research, integrate the world class facilities the University has with the tournament, and positively engage with a range of audiences, including the student community.

Manchester is one of the host cities at RLWC2021, with Old Trafford the venue for both the men’s and women’s finals on the same day, while the university is already a UK base for Toronto Wolfpack.

The new sponsorship will see Manchester Metropolitan conduct research into the RLWC2021 hosting strategy and assess the positive social impact of the tournament via a full PhD scholarship.

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This will focus on areas of the RLWC2021 ‘InspirationALL’ legacy programme, with activities to improve the economic and social wellbeing of communities.

In addition, over 30,000 Manchester Metropolitan students from a variety of backgrounds and cultures will be engaged with RLWC2021, with opportunities such as volunteering and work experience provided to students to increase aspirations, improve personal development and prepare them as future leaders.

Manchester Metropolitan’s world class facilities will also be integrated into the RLWC2021 tournament delivery, including team training, base camps and the Festival of World Cups, which will include the Emerging Nations, Student and Armed Forces competitions.

RLWC2021 commercial director Jonathan Neill said: “Our partnership with Manchester Metropolitan is built around meeting shared mutual objectives.

“This will positively impact the tournament in many ways, from inspiring and exciting the next generation, to demonstrating our legacy via innovative research which can be used as a blueprint for future events.

“The breadth of Manchester Metropolitan’s expertise, capability and engagement will support our vision to deliver the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup ever.”