Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup Final attracts amazing TV audience and sets world record

The Rugby League World Cup has been and gone.

But the lessons learnt from the tournament can still be used moving forward into Super League in the years to come and of course the next World Cup in 2025.

The major success story of the tournament was of course wheelchair rugby which according to St Helens legend Jon Wilkin is set to “explode” in terms of popularity.

England won the final at the expense of holders France in a 28-24 classic which will only help the growth of the sport in England.

This magnificent final between the two standard setters in the sport was watched by a combined peak audience of 1.3 million people.

On top of this, there was a world record crowd of more than 4,500 people also filling Manchester Central to watch the two best teams in the world go head-to-head.

It comes after record breaking numbers during the group stage including at Sheffield and London.

The tournament broke records on and off the pitch over five weeks of action, which kicked off at St James’ Park on 15 October and concluded with Australia winning the men’s and women’s Finals at Old Trafford on 19 November.  

In that time, 61 matches were played with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments held simultaneously for the first time.  

England exacted revenge for defeat in the 2017 Wheelchair World Cup final, defeating rivals France to claim their second Wheelchair world title before Australia continued their dominance of the running game by defeating New Zealand and Samoa in the women’s and men’s finals respectively.  

Every minute of every match from all three tournaments was broadcast live by the BBC with a cumulative match average audience of 29.24 million people tuning in domestically across network and digital channels.

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