The Rugby League World Cup at the end of the year is set to be the biggest in the history of the sport.
With the competition originally scheduled for 2021, teams, players and fans have had to wait another year for the bonanza event – but it is definitely worth the wait.
The anticipation is as great for a tournament that most rugby league fans have never known before and the prospect of a potential upset from the likes Samoa, Tonga and Fiji are perhaps the greatest in the history of the World Cup.
And, it seems as though that anticipation has trickled down to fan level with over 250,000 tickets being sold so far for the tournament!
Whilst rugby league sometimes gets criticised for its lack of marketing, the World Cup organisers have excelled in every aspect with Chief Executive Jon Dutton impressing greatly in his role.
A sports management graduate with over 20 years’ experience in the sports industry, Dutton has previously worked for the PGA European Golf Tour, Manchester FA, with a secondment to UEFA for the 2003 Champions League Final and ran his own sports consultancy company.
Even more impressive, Dutton was the Operations Director for Rugby League World Cup 2013, Director of Readiness for the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014 and Tournament Director for the Ladbrokes Four Nations tournament in 2016.
His experience in international rugby league has been phenomenal and last year Durron was the RLIF Tournament Commissioner for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Moving forward, people are clamouring for Dutton to be involved in rugby league some aspect once the World Cup is over, with many wanting to see him take up a position in the RFL or Super League.
If the tournament lives up to expectations then those calls will surely be deafening.