Australia and New Zealand are not going to disrupt the Rugby World Cup for the second year in a row.
And tournament boss John Datton will be playing NRL face-to-face, as the home tournament, which has been postponed for a year after Australia and New Zealand canceled the trip, looks set to break records.
It will also receive a stellar rating as Ant and December are set to connect it to millions of viewers on Saturday night’s Saturday takeaway show.
About 30,000 tickets have already been sold for England’s opening match against Samoa at New York’s St. James Park on October 15, which is set to be England’s semi-final at Arsenal Emirates Stadium and the Old Trafford final.
Sales of other matches, such as Tonga against the Cook Islands at Middlesbrough, are also equal to or roughly five figures.
The opening of the Women’s World Cup – a double blow to the head when England face Brazil and Papua New Guinea with Canada in Heddingley – has already broken the previous attendance record of 4,235 people.
And, as far as Dathan knows, nothing, not even interfering with NRL clubs, can ruin things from here – even if he never got an answer as to why Australia and New Zealand will not come in 2021.
He said the deal with Australian television had not yet been agreed: “There was absolutely no sign that they would not come again.
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“The document we drafted last year – the Covid-19 procedures and protocols – still exists, but it will be put into effect given the public health conditions at the time.
“There are still challenges than in the UK, but we will create a safe environment for players and staff.
“We drew a line under this and went further – we had sympathy and understanding for their position, especially with the New Zealand Warriors players who have lived away from home for so long.
“Maybe after the tournament someone can better explain to me what happened, but that’s in the past, we went further.
“I hope to talk to Peter V’Landis of the Australian Rugby League Commission when I go to Australia in June. I will also talk to NRL club leaders. “
The World Cup bosses are aiming to become something the sport has never seen in the UK – £ 20 million in grants have already been allocated to community projects, and another £ 2 million is ahead.
A 14th the global brand will sign up as a partner next month, and Dathan believes they have the potential to move into the club game.
And a few weeks before the start, expect it to be plugged in on billboards, television, radio and services like YouTube and Spotify, under the theme “It’s Real Influence”.
Stories such as the rise of Englishman Alex Walmsley, the first black international captain Clive Sullivan and the 18-year-old England captain Georgia Roche will be presented.
The Papua New Guinea women’s team and the assistance that St. Helens provided to Tonga after the tsunami will also be told in the build-up.
And Dathan, associated with a role in the new panel that will push both the Rugby Football League and the Super League as part of the restructuring of the sport, believes he is in the best position to create, and the deal on Channel 4 Super League will push much.
He added: “It’s an absolutely phenomenally good thing, the more new people see the sport – the more they see it in general – it’s good.
“And the game is now in a better marketing position than before. It was a great start to the season in terms of off the field and we saw some really encouraging crowds.
“We know we have to work hard – the rugby league is not sold out – but it has never had such tournaments.
“One of our values is real, without tricks. What we are doing is real, and many studies are pointing in the right direction. ”